Jinkosolar Considers Selling Off Solar Project Business

JinkoSolar Holding Co., a Chinese solar-panel producer, is considering a spinoff or public share sale for its project development unit to expand the business.

Separating the unit from manufacturing operations will aid growth and benefit JinkoSolar shareholders, the Shangrao-based company said yesterday in a statement. It expects the subsidiary to have 500 megawatts of installed capacity by the end of the year.

“The separation will support the sustainable growth of our downstream” project work, Chairman Xiande Li said in the statement. “With the clear commitment of the Chinese government to renewable energy -- solar energy in particular -- and a growing market, we believe now is an appropriate time to prudently explore strategic alternatives for this business.”

Solar stocks last year emerged from a three-year slump after a global capacity glut dragged down solar-panel prices and cut profits. China, the world’s biggest polluter, is seeking to boost renewables output by giving priority access to solar power on the grid and exhorting lenders to provide project financing.

JinkoSolar is studying an initial share offering for its projects business, a sale to a third party and other financing options, according to the statement. The company is one of five on the NYSE Bloomberg Global Solar Energy Index to jump more than fourfold in the past year. The index grew 70 percent in 2013 and has added 7 percent since, following three years of declines.

Deutsche Bank AG this month raised its forecast for 2014 global solar demand to 46.1 gigawatts from a previous estimate of 44.5 gigawatts, and up from about 36.3 gigawatts in 2013. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts solar installations will rise to 46 gigawatts this year from about 38 gigawatts in 2013 and 30.6 gigawatts in 2012.

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