A new foreign investor is seeking to take over First Solar's long-delayed solar panel project in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: phys.org)
An overseas enterprise is gearing up a plan to resurrect a $1.2-billion solar panel project which has come to a standstill after its investor, U.S.-based First Solar, abandoned it in 2011 for an oversupply in the global market, the Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper reported.
The new investor is expected to win a license by the end of this June and to pour at least $500 million to revive the project, Tran Viet Ha, chief of investment at the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (Hepza), was quoted as saying.
The investor is waiting for concrete advances of a road upgrade project that would enable it to transport its products to downtown Ho Chi Minh City and nearby seaports, according to the newspaper.
First Solar acquired a license for the project in January 2011 and kick-off the construction two months later.
It was set to become Vietnam’s first thin-film solar modules manufacturing plant when coming into operation in 2012 with a production capacity equivalent to 250 megawatts a year.
However, the investor suspended the project in November 2011. By then, it had invested $50 million in a 113,000-square meter factory in Dong Nam Industrial Zone on the outskirts of HCM City.
Cushman & Wakefield in 2012 was chosen to sell partly or wholly First Solar’s factory.