China-based solar photovoltaic (PV) giant, Jinko Solar, has officially opened an $80-million state-of-the-art factory in Cape Town, its first outside China, creating 250 jobs and producing 1 300 solar PV modules a day.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said he welcomed the opening of the 120 MW solar PV module production facility as part of his department’s drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry, increase the country’s industrial base and create much-needed jobs in Epping in Cape Town.
Jinko Solar employs 10 000 people in 14 sales offices worldwide, is one of China’s top 500 companies and the fourth-largest crystalline module manufacturer globally.
The price of solar PV has been slashed in recent years on the back of improvements in operational efficiency and technological advances.
“At 88c per kWh, solar PV is the cheapest power generator by far – and it’s coming down even more. 70% of Africa is not electrified, while 70% of Africa’s energy is wood. Yet it is the sunniest continent in the world. Something is wrong here and we want to change it,” said Wido Schnabel, Jinko Solar South Africa’s business development manager.
By: Kim Cloete
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