First Solar Vietnam Celebrates Arrival of Series 6 Manufacturing Equipment

January 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM PST

Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, 30 January 2018 – First Solar Vietnam today held a welcoming ceremony to receive the first equipment for manufacturing its latest, high-technology Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) module. Setting a new industry benchmark for reliability, design and environmental performance, the highly anticipated Series 6 product will debut with an anticipated 445-watt generation capacity and 18 percent conversion efficiency, securing First Solar as the leading PV technology manufacturer globally. Joining First Solar executives and associates to celebrate the ceremony were industry guests including the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority (HEPZA), the People’s Committee of Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City and Linh Trung Customs, and the Saigon Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG).


The delivery was a primary component for a Vapor Transport Deposition (VTD) coater, the machine that applies semiconductor material to glass. The component arrived in one of the largest of the 10 crates that contained sections of the coater. Once fully assembled, the equipment will be at 60.4m (L) X 10.2m (W) X 5.1m (H) and weighs almost 29 tons.

 
First Solar Vietnam’s Managing Director, Mr. Chan See Chong emphasized the Dong Nam facility’s role in the company’s future plans. “As First Solar launches its new Series 6 module, we are proud to have the two newest manufacturing facilities here in Vietnam. This demonstrates our company’s confidence that Vietnam will be instrumental in meeting our goals, thanks in part to the local workforce and by working with the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, HEPZA, Customs and Saigon VRG. The arrival of this key piece of equipment here in Dong Nam marks the beginning of a new era for First Solar manufacturing.”


The recent injection of an additional US$360 million capital investment into the construction of the second 1.2GW high-tech factory brought First Solar’s total investment capital in Vietnam to US$830 million. With preliminary module production expected to start in Q4 2018, the two factories will produce 2.4GW of First Solar’s Series 6 modules annually when fully operational.

 
Mr. Mike Koralewski, Senior Vice President for Global Module Manufacturing expressed the company’s commitment to manufacturing in Vietnam. “First Solar has pulled forward our manufacturing plans for the initial factory and recently committed to a second factory here in Dong Nam. We have strong customer demand for our new Series 6 product and our investment in Vietnam is a critical component of our future success. We have full confidence in our local team’s ability to bring these factories to life and make an immediate contribution as we strive to lead the world’s sustainable energy future.” 


Mr. Nguyen Hoang Nang, Chairman of HEPZA commended First Solar’s efforts. “We are looking forward to working closely with First Solar and to the company’s growth in Vietnam. After officially rebuilding in Dong Nam Industrial Park, First Solar project has attracted many potential investors, and satellite projects to the zone. This presents a good sign, not only for local economy but also for the whole industry as well.”

In support of the manufacturing expansion, First Solar Vietnam successfully held the first Vietnam Career Day in Binh Duong earlier this month. A second event is planned for March as the company increases the total number of company associates to 950 in country. 

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

For First Solar Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements, among other things, concerning: effects on our financial statements and guidance resulting from certain module manufacturing changes and associated restructuring activities; our business strategy, including anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected costs (including estimated future module collection and recycling costs), warranties, solar module technology and cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability, investments in unconsolidated affiliates and capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per watt of our solar modules; the impact of public policies, such as tariffs or other trade remedies imposed on solar cells and modules; our ability to expand manufacturing capacity worldwide; our ability to reduce the costs to construct PV solar power systems; research and development programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and competition. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as "estimate," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "intend," "seek," "believe," "forecast," "foresee," "likely," "may," "should," "goal," "target," "might," "will," "could," "predict," "continue" and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed in Item 1A "Risk Factors," of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.      

Contacts

First Solar Media
Steve Krum
+1 602-427-3359
steve.krum@firstsolar.com

First Solar Vietnam Media
Nguyen Thi Diem Ha 
+84 28 3911 2162
ha.nguyen@matcomvn.com 

First Solar Investors
Stephen Haymore
+1 602-414-9315
stephen.haymore@firstsolar.com

SOURCE: First Solar, Inc.