Chinese PV solar panel manufacturer Jinko Solar opened a production plant in Cape Town yesterday in a move to meet demand from South Africa’s renewable energy independent power produce procurement (REIPPP) programme.

Jinko Solar has invested US$80 million in the solar PV factory, the first of its kind in Africa.

Morgan Peng, managing director of Jinko Solar, said the company expects to produce 1,300 solar panels a day at the plant with an annual turnover of ZAR600 million (US$55 million).

Peng also said the plant itself is expected to produce 120MW by the end of the year.

PV solar in South Africa

Jinko Solar has identified South Africa as an important growth area for the company.

Mr Peng said: “South Africa is one of our key markets where we have already achieved around 300MW in contracts with our partners for the first and second rounds of the REIPPP tenders and we expect to strengthen our position with current and future opportunities in the coming third round.”

Commenting on the factory opening, Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies said: “South Africa is becoming a leader in renewable energy. Within the space of three years the REIPPP programme model is fast developing into a new industry sector.”

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