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Pumped hydro business sinks numbers for Chinese clean power developer

Be Clean Energy emphasized it was its wind power business that was the company’s 2021 success story, even though solar power sales revenue also jumped. Elsewhere, compatriot PV manufacturer Solargiga bounced back into profit last year.

Renewables developer Beijing Enterprises Clean Energy today published annual figures showing it swung into a loss last year, of HK$289 million (US$36.9 million), following the HK$886 million (US$113 million) booked in 2020. The result came despite the fact revenue rose 8% to HK$6.02 billion (US$769 million), the company said.

The developer, abbreviated to Be Clean Energy, said that was because of one-off business impairments and options granted to investors in its Beiqing Smart pumped hydro business unit totalling HK$1.13 billion (US$144 million). Without that burden, the developer would have posted a profit of HK$839 million (US$107 million), Be Clean stated.

Solar sales

Be Clean said the rise in revenue was down to its wind power business but noted its solar plants generated electricity sales of HK$3.13 billion (US$400 million) last year, up from HK$2.85 billion (US$364 million) a year earlier, with the power selling from its 2,252MW of large scale solar plants for an average RMB0.77/kWh (US$0.12).

A proposed asset swap deal with third-party SEC Electric – which would have seen SEC take ownership of Beiqing Smart and list it in Shanghai, and SEC become part of Be Clean – fell through recently and the developer is waiting on a HK$4.69 billion (US$599 million) cash injection from public body China Shandong Hi-Speed, in return for 43% of a Be Clean enlarged by issuing the equivalent of 77% of its current stock.

Chinese manufacturer Solargiga, however, made a return to profit last year, of RMB193 million (US$30.3 million), following the RMB216 million (US$33.9 million) loss booked in 2020 as it began to wind down a cell production unit which cost it only RMB5.9 million (US$926,000) in 2021.

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Solargiga booked revenue of RMB2.46 billion (US$386 million) from ingot and wafer production last year, up from RMB1.7 billion (US$267 million) a year earlier; RMB4.48 billion (US$703 million) from solar module sales, up from RMB4.27 billion (US$670 million); and RMB117 million (US$18.4 million) from solar project development, with its now-closed cell operation generating RMB44 million (US$6.9 million) in business.

The company’s raw materials bill rose from RMB186 million (US$29.2 million) in 2020 to RMB314 million (US$49.3 million) last year, Solargiga told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday, but, with all but 414MW of its ingots reserved for internal use, its freight costs fell, year on year, from RMB28.9 million (US$4.54 million) to RMB5.23 million (US$821,000), even as wafer shipments rose 30% to 4,087MW.

Pricing uncertainty

Price volatility meant Solargiga shipped fewer solar modules last year than in 2020, down from 2,865MW to 2,842MW. The manufacturer raised its annual production capacity for solar ingots and wafers at its Qujing fab, from 900MW each to 4.3GW and 2.5GW, respectively, and expects to hit 6GW and 3.6GW, respectively, this year.

Module capacity at its Yangcheng base will rise from 5.4GW, at the end of last year, to 6.4GW. The company said it had total production capacities of 5.7GW, for ingots; 4.1GW, for wafers; and 7.2GW, for modules, at the end of December.

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Source: pv magazine