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TMEIC Promotes Local Production Aiming for World No. 1 Share in PV Inverters (1)

New factories start operation in India, US

2017/12/04 12:12
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Institute
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Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC), which boasts by far the top share in large-capacity PV inverters for domestic mega (large-scale) solar power plants, has been accelerating its overseas strategy.

The company started operation of new PV inverter factories in the USA and India in August and October this year, respectively. TMEIC has been improving the sales performance in the two countries and has been competing with major European manufacturers for the top share.

Based on the momentum of the start of the new factories, the company aims for roughly 26 billion yen (approx US$231 million) in total sales of power electronics products, with a focus on PV inverters, in 2020 in the two markets.

The Astros, based in Houston, Texas won the major league baseball world series for the first time Nov 1, 2017, beating the Dodgers 4-3 in the final game. TMEIC held the opening ceremony of the new factory in Katy City near Houston on November 2, the next day.

TMEIC aiming for No. 1 following the Astros

TMEIC President & CEO Masahiko Yamawaki received thunderous applause from the employees who attended the ceremony when he took off his jacket and put on a T-shirt commemorating the victory of the Astros. "Like the Astros, the new TMEIC factory will aim to be the No. 1 factory in the power electronics field," he said, closing his address (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: TMEIC President & CEO Masahiko Yamawaki speaks at the opening ceremony. (source: Nikkei BP)

The new factory has 13,100m2 of land and the building has 4,1802 of floor space. Large-capacity PV inverters intended for mega solar power plants, UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems and others are manufactured at the factory. TMEIC constructed the new factory and totally transferred the production of PV inverters that were conventionally manufactured at an existing factory in Houston City to the new factory because the factory space in Houston became insufficient.

The grand ceremony, which was held in one corner of the factory building where recently completed units with a rated output of 2.7MW were arranged in rows, was attended by more than 100 persons including the employees and related persons from local government. The new factory is operated by TMEIC Power Electronics Products Corp (TMPE), a production subsidiary of TMEIC (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: The new factory near Houston, Texas, USA (source: Nikkei BP)