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Solar Giants Trina and Jinko Solar to Lift Solar Industry

Trina Solar Ltd., the world’s third- biggest maker of solar panels, and Jinko Solar Holding Co. expect to deliver more products this year as China’s efforts to promote its domestic solar industry take hold.

Growth in Changzhou, China-based Trina’s shipments will surge by at least 30 percent in 2013 from a year ago, outpacing global market demand, Terry Wang, Trina’s chief financial officer. Jinko Solar, China’s eighth- biggest panel producer, will boost shipments 20 percent to 30 percent to more than 1.2 GW, said Sebastian Liu, the Shanghai-based company’s director of investor relations.

Panel consumption “is rising all over the world except in Europe, and China will largely contribute to the increase,” Wang said in the Jan. 17 interview. “Prices are still dipping but, depending on Chinese demand, the decrease may stop in the second half,” he said.

An increase in panel shipments may signal Chinese manufacturers are turning more optimistic after a year when prices of polysilicon plunged 40 percent and panels were down 19 percent. The 17-member Bloomberg Global Large Solar Energy Index, which includes Jinko Solar and Trina, has gained 26 percent this year compared with a loss of 26 percent last year.

China will account for 30 percent or more of Jinko Solar’s panels this year as efforts to stimulate the domestic solar industry boost demand, Liu said, and Wang stated that Trina has begun using two-thirds of its production capacity this month, increasing from half in December. He expects the utilization rate to rise for the remainder of the year as the company expands its photovoltaic system sales business by developing its own projects.

The company said on Jan. 15 that it received approval from China’s Gansu province for a 50-megawatt solar farm. Trina expects profits to be generated from the business expansion after the second quarter, Wang said.Trina said yesterday that it supplied 61 megawatts of modules to a power plant built on a former military airfield in eastern Germany.

Jinko Solar’s panel production capacity totals 1.2 GW annually and the company ran its factories at a utilization rate of more than 80 percent last year, Liu said. The decline in panel prices is slowing and may rebound after inventories are depleted, he said.

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