China Sunergy will invest CNY1.8bn ($278m) in its 1GW solar cells expansion project in Yangzhou, China.

China Sunergy (HK) and China Sunergy (Nanjing) will initially produce 500MW of solar cells that will be commercialised in 2012.

The main focus of the project is the Quasar cells, which were recently developed by the company and have an average efficiency rate of 18.6 %.

The company said it aims to increase the efficiency of the Quasar cells to 19% in the first batch of 500MW cells and to 20% within two years.

China Electric Equipment Group will loan about CNY500 ($77m) for the project and the rest will be funded by credit facilities.