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Trina Solar beefs up presence in Latin America, Canada

Jumping off from market uncertainties in Europe and the United States for its income losses for the first two quarters of 2012, China’s Trina Solar Limited wants to increase its presence in other regions in the Western Hemisphere.

The company said it is increasing its presence in Latin America with a new base for sales and business development in Santiago, Chile.

The announcement follows a similar move last month when Trina Solar established a Canadian subsidiary and set up a sales and business development office in Ontario.

The company also announced a partnership with Silfab Ontario in its measures to offer locally-manufactured modules to the Canadian market.

According to their latest statement, the establishment of the Santiago base ensures that the company’s coverage now encompasses all the Americas, including the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Canada.

The Santiago offices will serve commercial, utility and off-grid customers throughout Latin America with a focus on Chile, Mexico, Brazil and neighboring countries.

"We see the Latin American market as an excellent opportunity to expand our sales efforts by providing clean, job creating energy," said Mark Mendenhall, president of Trina Solar Americas.

Trina Solar’s expansion into Canada and Latin America come on the heels of a disappointing first and second quarter for 2012 which saw net losses of $29.82 million and $92.1 million respectively.

According to Jifan Gao, Trina Solar’s chairman and chief executive, policy concerns in Europe and the U.S. posed significant challenges to the company.

"Uncertainty caused by changes in the system of feed-in-tariffs in markets such as Italy, the influence of potential anti-dumping tariffs in the United States, inventories due to project delays from U.S. customers that made purchases under the U.S. federal government's 1603 Program and project start-up delays by certain of our customers in China due to revised network planning and related bid award delays and financing limitations,” cited Mr. Gao.

The losses and tough market conditions also led Trina to lower their full year forecast for their solar module shipments to 1.75 – 1.8 gigawatts, compared to the previously announced 2.0 to 2.1 GW.

The company’s determination to make inroads into the other American regions could be seen as a response to the need for new and more profitable markets in light of the recent anti-dumping cases levied against Chinese solar products by the United States Department of Commerce.

Trina Solar was given a preliminary dumping margin of 31.14 percent (see related story). – EcoSeed Staff

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