China Sunergy Co. started production at a solar-cell factory in South Korea in a bid to diversify its manufacturing base and protect against potential trade penalties from the U.S. and Europe.
The plant in Incheon has annual production capacity of 200 megawatts, China Sunergy said in a statement Thursday. Once the factory is running at 80 percent capacity, the Nanjing, China-based company will consider expanding that to 500 megawatts. The plant is also working with local manufacturers to make company-branded solar panels.
The factory will help China Sunergy better serve growing markets in East Asia and the Pacific, Chief Executive Officer Lu Tingxiu said in the statement. It will also protect the company against tariffs on Chinese panels that may be imposed by the U.S., European Union and others. The U.S. has accused Chinese solar companies of undercutting foreign competitors with lower prices, aided by subsidies from the Chinese government.
American depositary receipts for China Sunergy rose 6.6 percent to $1.45 at the close in New York. The ADRs, each worth 18 ordinary shares, have gained 19 percent this year.