German photovoltaic cell manufacturer Q-Cells will invest US$3.5bn to build a solar cell plant in Mexico's Baja California state, the latter country's presidential website reported.
Q-Cells decided to build the facility in the city of Mexicali to access the local and California markets and hedge against currency fluctuations. The plant will be Q-Cells' production center for the entire American continent.
The agreement to build the plant was signed between Q-Cells, Mexico's federal government, Baja California's state government and industrial park developer Silicon Border Development.
Construction will begin in the second half of this year.
Investment will be carried out over the "mid to long term" and is contingent on the development of solar markets in the US, Mexico and Latin America, according to a Q-Cells statement.
Q-Cells is the largest global producer of crystalline solar cells with a 9% market share worldwide in 2007. The company currently produces all its solar cells in the German town of Thalheim.