March 23, 2011 -- First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) broke ground on its four-line photovoltaic module manufacturing plant in the Dong Nam Industrial Park near Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh attended a ceremony at the site to mark the occasion.
The $300 million manufacturing plant is scheduled to begin commercial production in the second half of 2012 and employ around 600 associates. Up to 2,000 people will be involved in the construction. The plant will produce more than 250MW of First Solar's advanced, thin-film solar modules per year on four manufacturing lines, with the flexibility for future expansion. First Solar plans to install some 3MW of its modules on the factory roof.
The factory will use First Solar's continuous manufacturing process, which transforms a sheet of glass into a complete solar module in less than 2.5 hours. The factory is designed to maximize energy efficiency. It will include a recycling plant, which currently recovers up to 90% of a module's semiconductor materials and glass, by weight, for use in new solar modules and glass products.
"Our Dong Nam factory will play a key role in our plan to nearly double First Solar's capacity by 2012," said Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar. All of First Solar's factories worldwide are certified under the ISO14001 system for environmental standards, ISO9001 for quality and OHSAS 18001 for occupational safety and health.
The Dong Nam Industrial Park is a 342 hectare business development zone around 25 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City.
First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and is a provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. For more information about First Solar, visit www.firstsolar.com.