Chinese solar-cell maker Canadian Solar Inc said it intends to build a 200 megawatt module manufacturing facility in Ontario at an estimated cost of C$24 million ($22.9 million), sending its shares up 9 percent.

The company said the plant will be completed in stages, with the first phase of operations expected to start in 2010.

It currently expects to make definite decisions about the plant site, cost and ultimate size in the first quarter of 2010.

Canadian Solar also said it will explore federal and provincial programs that would help it build an Ontario-based manufacturing facility.

Thursday's news comes after a number of Chinese solar companies signaled an uptick in demand in the third quarter.

In November, companies including Canadian Solar, Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd and Trina Solar Ltd posted higher-than-expected earnings and said demand for the clean energy systems was rebounding after a dismal year.

Canadian Solar shares were up $2.04 in pre-market trade. The stock, up nearly eight-fold from its March low, closed at $22.95 Wednesday on Nasdaq.


(Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)