“We had great trust in the PV potential demand thanks to expectations created by South African authorities”
Interview with Arturo Herrero, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Emerging Markets, JinkoSolar, gold sponsors and site visit hosts at the upcoming African Utility Week in Cape Town in May.
1. JinkoSolar is the first foreign solar manufacturer to have built production facilities in South Africa. This is undoubtedly a big vote of confidence in the continent and in renewable energy.
True, we had great trust in the PV potential demand thanks to expectations created by South African authorities and the requirements of Local Content that we understood to be a must to support the PV projects in SA. Unfortunately, this requirement of local production was not enforced by the Government.
2. How is business at the South African plant so far?
The plant is working at full production with very high standards, but not to fulfill South African demand but European demand. As I said previously, the SA authorities are not clarifying properly the definition of Local Content therefore, so far all developers prefer to buy from our factory in China at a lower price than in South Africa to ensure they get the most competitive bids.
3. What advice would you give prospective investors in the African energy sector?
Not to invest in South African production until Government provides clarity and Eskom solve their issues.
4. What in your view are the main challenges to the adoption and implementation of renewable energy on the continent?
The delays on execution of the programs.
5. You are a gold sponsor at African Utility Week this year – why the decision to partner with the event?
We expect to enter into Distribution Generation and IPP program below 5MW and sponsoring African conferences will help.
6. What will be your message this year?
Our position of leader in the South African market and our production at full capacity.
7. Delegates will have the opportunity to visit your plant – what will they learn?
The high automatization of our plant, the high level of quality and their numerous quality controls.
8. Anything you would like to add?
|W are still optimistic and confident that the Government will continue their support for the coming years, and we are expecting a clear definition of Local Content that includes the term of Lamination in South Africa.
JinkoSolar recently opened a solar module factory which covers an area of 5,000m2, has an annual production capacity of 120MW and created more than 250 jobs. With an investment of approximately USD$7.5 million the Cape Town factory is modelled after their state-of-the-art production facilities in China and will employ measures to ensure the highest quality PV module production process.
JinkoSolar is the first foreign solar manufacturer to have built production facilities in South Africa and has already over 300MW to date. The completion of this factory highlights its strong capital base and ability to diversify its global manufacturing facilities geographically. The factory will also enhance JinkoSolar’s global production chain allowing it to serve customers across the region with Local Content.