Bankruptcy clouds in China, sunlight over Bulgaria's solar parks

ABB, the Bulgarian partner of Hareon Solar, has a contract for the operation and maintenance of 4 photovoltaic plants in the municipalities of Pleven, Kazanlak, Karlovo and Silistra, with a total installed capacity of 85 MWp. The plants are owned by the Chinese manufacturer and investor Hareon Solar, which invested over € 15 million.

The plants in Silistra and Cherganovo are equipped with solar panels from Hareon and the plants in Pleven and Kolarovo are equipped with panels from the Swiss company ILB Helios under license from Hareon Solar.

The Control Center in Sofia monitors the work of the four plants by managing and ensuring the productivity of the main equipment. A critical aspect of this function is the control panel optimization as well as the analysis, diagnostics and emergency troubleshooting and telephone support. The local plant staff receives remote assistance in locating problems from the operators in the control center.

ABB’s remote control monitors the entire plant in real-time and sends alarms when any part of it does not work optimally. An authorized technician located in the control room diagnoses the alarm and solves the problem or sends a service team to the plant.

ABB has been working with Hareon Solar since 2011 to build photovoltaic plants in Italy and Bulgaria. Hareon Solar Technology Co., Ltd. is one of the largest silicon cell production enterprises in China. Ever since its foundation in 2004, Hareon Solar has witnessed the rapid growth of its major business. It specializes in producing mono silicon stick/multicast ingots and wafer cutting in the upstream of the photovoltaic industry. Hareon Solar has three wholly-owned subsidiaries including Jiangyin Hareon Power Co., Ltd, Altusvia Energy (Taicang) Co., Ltd, and Hefei Hareon Solar Technology Co., Ltd, as well as a holding subsidiary named Jiangyin Xinhui Solar Energy Co., Ltd., which are specialized in producing solar cells and modules.

Hareon Solar Technology Co Ltd announced at the end of 2018 an application for bankruptcy liquidation of its main manufacturing subsidiary.

The People’s Court of Jiangyin City in China’s Jiangsu Province has appointed an administrator for the unit, Jiangyin Xinhui Solar Energy Co Ltd, which has been unable to pay off its debt.

Hareon Solar has also accumulated significant amounts of debt and in the last days of 2018 announced the disposal of several businesses. Chinese financial news portal Caixin reports, based on multiple Hareon Solar filings on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, that the company is to raise CNY 1.55 billion (USD 225.7m/EUR 198.3m) with the sale of seven subsidiaries. It needs money to repay overdue debt.

As part of the project, ABB in Bulgaria is providing planned preventive inspections – systematic checks and measurements – to ensure optimal operating conditions, maximum availability of equipment and systems, and to prevent faults that might occur from ongoing wear. The maintenance of the equipment and the full care service of PV inverters provided by ABB will ensure essential equipment in the plants will remain in good operating condition. Monthly reports and analysis of the performance will be provided to the project owner. ABB has more than 1,000 employees in Bulgaria and three production units are located in Petrich, Sevlievo and Rakovski.

According to the latest financial statement (2018) of BBC Cherganovo (Kazanlak), the company reported a profit of BGN 1,183,000 (about EUR 600,000).

ABB solar park in Cherganovo, Bulgaria. Source: new.abb.com

According to the latest financial statement (2018) of Best Solar (Karlovo), the company reported a profit of BGN 691,000 (about EUR 350,000).

According to the latest financial statement (2018) of Helios Projects (Pleven), the company reported a profit of BGN 5,136,000 (about EUR 2,600,000).

According to the latest financial statement (2018) of Agro Elite (Silistra), the company reported a profit of BGN 1,096,000 (about EUR 510,000).

There are no data for any subsidies that these solar parks get from the Bulgarian state for producing green energy, but all of them are involved in court cases due to the fact that the subsidies are not delivered.

So far there is no information on what is going to happen to the Bulgarian-based companies following the Hareon Solar bankruptcy in China.

 

Read more about the Chinese companies in:

Ukraine

Moldova

Romania