China-headquartered module manufacturer Seraphim is building a 750MW module assembly factory in Vietnam to expand its global production footprint and better serve the growing US market.
The assembly plant will be used to produce Seraphim’s S3 and S4 series half-cell modules. Initially, 500MW of annual nameplate capacity will be allocated to the S3 modules series with the latest S4 modules accounting for 250MW of annual capacity at the new facility, its first in Vietnam.
Seraphim already has market interests in Vietnam, having supplied panels for two PV projects in Dak Lak and Khanh Hoa totalling 80MW last year.
Jun Zhuge, Seraphim’s executive vice president, said the latest construction project will increase the company’s share of the global module manufacturing market and “enhance our competitiveness in the US”.
Seraphim’s plans to scale up its module production come days after the company signed a supply deal with wholesaler and importer Raystech for its S3 series half-cell modules. The S3 modules integrate 166mm silicon cells alongside multi-busbar and half-cut cell technologies, and have a 19.78% conversion efficiency, while the S4 series modules have a conversion efficiency in excess of 21.1% and a maximum power output of 540W.
The announcement comes as an increasing number of manufacturers and developers are rushing to invest in Vietnam’s fast-growing solar market. Zhuge told PV Tech last year that Vietnam, would be one of a handful of countries it was planning to expand module production into to capitalise on the local as well as US market.
Indeed, Vietnam has become one of the world’s most attractive markets for solar investment. The country’s solar PV capacity soared from 134MW to 5.4GW last year, partly due to generous feed-in tariffs and auctions designed to attract foreign investment.
The country is set to publish a new National Power Development Plan 2021-30 next March, and is expected to have a greater focus on renewable energy growth. A recent report from Fitch Solutions predicts that the country’s net solar capacity will rise by close to 10GW over the next decade. Vietnam’s Politburo hopes that solar will make up a 15-20% share of Vietnam’s total energy market by 2030, growing to 25-30% by 2045. Vietnam is also looking to shift away from the FIT market and move to competitive tendering in the forthcoming new policy plan.