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Hanwha Q CELLS to Build Solar Module Plant in the US
A Move to Dodge Tariff Bombs
Hanwha Q CELLS to Build Solar Module Plant in the US
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • May 31, 2018, 15:00
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Hanwha Q CELLS’ solar module manufacturing plant in Eumseong, South Korea.
Hanwha Q CELLS’ solar module manufacturing plant in Eumseong, South Korea.

Hanwha Q CELLS Korea will build a solar module manufacturing plant in the US.

The company announced on May 30 that it has signed a multilateral memorandum of understanding with the Whitfield County government in Georgia on May 29 (local time) to build a solar module manufacturing plant.

Construction of the new plant will start this year, with commercial production slated to begin next year. The capacity of the plant will be 1.6 gigawatts, an amount enough to meet the electricity demands of 2.5 million people. The plant is the largest among the solar module plants in the US.

The details of the investment amount will be finalized after a review of the local market conditions and product strategies. The state government and the county will give the company benefits worth over US$30 million including free offering of land and reducing property and corporate taxes.

The US solar market is the second largest in the world after China. Since Chinese manufacturers are dominating the Chinese market, Hanwha targeted the US market and took the lead in the module market in both 2016 and 2017.

However, the situation for business has worsened as the United States Trade Representative announced last February to levy a 30 percent safeguard tariffs on imported solar cells and modules.

The US has decided to impose tariffs on the solar cells and modules manufactured in almost all countries excluding some developing countries for four years. The US government will impose a 30 percent tariff in the first year, which will drop to 25 percent in the second year, 20 percent in the third year, and 15 percent in fourth year.

An official from Hanwha Q CELLS said, “The company will continue to secure its leading position in the US market that is pursuing high-output modules for the uses of residence, commerce and large power plants,” adding, “We will expand the sales network in current main markets – Europe and Japan – and actively target new markets in the Central and South America and the Middle East to strengthen the company as a global No. 1 solar player.”