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Tue Aug 20, 2013, 08:17 PM

Solar Manufacturers May Boost Capacity as Demand Surges

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-20/trina-joins-sunpower-and-jinko-in-solar-turnararound.html

Three major solar manufacturers are producing panels at full speed and contemplating plans to expand capacity to meet surging demand in Asia.

Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL), the third-largest panel producer, increased its forecast for panel shipments this year to as much as 2.4 gigawatts from an earlier range of 2 gigawatts to 2.1 gigawatts, according to a statement yesterday. That matches the Changzhou, China-based company’s estimated annual production, and it may boost capacity next year.

SunPower Corp. (SPWR) and JinkoSolar Holding Co. (JKS) said they’re also running their factories at maximum and mulling ways to boost output. The industry has been battered by excess production that drove panel prices down 61 percent since the start of 2011. Rising demand in Asia is soaking up the surplus and will prompt the biggest producers to expand factories, said Angelo Zino, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s in New York.

“I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see a number of tier one manufacturers add capacity, probably in 2014,” Zino said in an interview yesterday.

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