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First Solar to add eight production lines in 2010 in Malaysia

First Solar Inc is expanding by adding 8 production lines in Malaysia in 2010 to satisfy a global contracted and advanced pipeline of over 6 GW.

First Solar has also announced financial guidance for 2010. First Solar expects net sales of US$2.7-2.9 billion.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer plans to invest US$365 million of capital to add two production plants, consisting of four manufacturing lines each. This expansion is expected to increase First Solar's annual capacity by 424 MW, assuming the third quarter 2009 reported annual line run rate of 53 MW, First Solar says.

Rob Gillette, First Solar CEO says: "In 2009 we increased our contracted North American pipeline by approximately 1.5 GW, expanding our penetration in transition markets. This drives further capacity needs around a demand pool that is less volatile and more predictable than the traditional feed in tariff-based markets."

With the announced expansion in Malaysia and the previously announced two-line factory in France, First Solar expects to add 10 production lines during 2010 and 2011, increasing capacity by over 48% from current levels, bringing First Solar's annual or announced production capacity to approximately 1.8 GW based on current production levels, First Solar says.

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