First Solar has received a licence to construct a thin-film solar panel plant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The $1bn solar plant will break ground in February on a 440,000m² site in the CU Chi district, with the installation of four assembly lines to be completed by September 2012, according to

The second phase will be carried out during February 2013 and 2014 and the construction of the entire facility is expected to be completed by 2015.

Once completed, the Ho Chi Minh City plant will help increase First Solar’s manufacturing facility to 500MW per annum.