China Solar News Digest, Nov. 9

Taiwan-based Walsin Lihwa signed an investment cooperation agreement on Oct. 28 with Solarion AG, a manufacturer based in Liepzig, Germany, to jointly produce CIGS thin-film solar cells and develop next-generation solar technologies.

Walsin Lihwa will invest 40 million euros in Solarion AG through its wholly owned subsidiary Ally Energy Limited BVI to acquire a 49 percent stake in Solarion AG as well as in the company’s CIGS technology patent licensing. The investment is awarded with a government subsidy of over 20 million euros.

Solarion AG, specializing in solar cells and solar modules, has a number of advanced technologies and patents in the high-efficiency CIGS solar sector. Under the agreement, Walsin Lihwa and Solarion AG will jointly pursue the quantity production of CIGS thin-film solar cells by setting up a solar cell and module plant in 2011 in Leipzig. The initial capacity of the plant is 20 megawatts, which will be increased to 200 megawatts. In addition, the patent licensing that Walsin Lihwa obtains from Solarion AG will enable Walsin Lihwa to independently manufacture and sell CIGS solar products.

According to Walsin Lihwa, the high power conversion efficiency of CIGS allows CIGS thin-film cells to have the greatest development potential. Solarion AG’s CIGS patents and the company’s low-cost, high-performance competitiveness are in line with Walsin Lihwa’s vertical integration strategy and help Walsin Lihwa obtain patented key technologies, providing a strong foundation for the company in independent solar energy research and development.

According to Dieter Waffel, the cooperation with Walsin Lihwa helps Solarion prepare for mass production, enabling it to develop even lower costs and much higher power conversion efficiency CIGS products and technologies.

Taizhou Xindayang Group, a manufacturer of electric vehicle components based in Zhejiang province, recently signed an agreement with the local government to construct a pure-electric vehicle facility in the city of Linyi, in Yinan county, Shandong province.

With a total investment of 3.07 billion RMB (approximately $459 million U.S.), the two-phase project has a planned annual capacity of 300,000 compact, low-speed pure-electric vehicles.

The company is currently seeking certifications in Europe, Australia and North America for the models it has successfully developed and put into trial production. In addition, the company has signed letters of intent on potential cooperation with several foreign counterparts. The company also plans to sell its electric vehicles in bulk to overseas markets, especially the European Union and North America, in 2011.

Luxgen, a high-end electric vehicle brand of Dongfeng-Yulong, a joint venture between mainland China’s Dongfeng Motor and Taiwan’s largest automaker, Yulong Group, made its debut at the 25th World Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition (EVS25), which was held in Shenzhen from Nov. 5 to 8.

The debut of the model had drawn great attention from the industry. Dongfeng-Yulong is an up-and-coming automaker that has been committed to high-end brands while focusing on developing new-energy vehicles as part of its differentiated strategy.

Using core technologies, such as a high-performance lithium-ion battery pack, electric power controllers and electric induction motors, and the energy-efficient clean power system, the pure-electric, zero-emission, Luxgen EVs are described as the first seven-seat intelligent electric model worldwide and deliver better power performance compared to gasoline-fueled passenger vehicles and other electric models, said a spokesperson for Dongfeng-Yulong.

Guohua Electric Power has recently begun construction of its 20-megawatt solar photovoltaic power generation project at the Jingbian Solar Photovoltaic Industrial Demonstration Park in Jingbian, Shaanxi province.

This is the fourth photovoltaic power generation project at the park, following China Huadian Corp. and China Guodian Corp.’s 5-megawatt photovoltaic power generation projects and Shaanxi Photovoltaic Industry’s 10-megawatt photovoltaic power generation project. It is the largest project of its kind in the province and is expected to be completed and to go into operation by the end of 2011.

GCL Poly Energy Holdings, China’s largest polysilicon producer, has won solar wafer deals totaling 1,165 megawatts from major solar companies in India and Taiwan.

The Hong Kong-based solar company obtained a $600-million long-term wafer supply contract from Indosolar in India. Under terms of the agreement, GCL Poly will supply 815 megawatts of high-quality silicon wafers over the next four years.

“This will help us establish our presence in the South Asian market. In particular, India has a large population of almost 1.2 billion with immense market potential,” said Zhu Gongshan, chairman and chief executive officer of GCL Poly.

“It will strengthen the confidence of our overseas customers in our product quality, price, cost-effective scale production and customer service by forging the deal with our Indian partner,” he added.

The contract was signed during the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference 2010 held Oct. 26 in India.

Meanwhile, GCL Poly also entered into a 350-megawatt wafer supply deal with Taiwanese solar company Neo Solar Power. GCL Poly will deliver the wafers over the next three years through its subsidiary GCL Poly New Energy, starting in the fourth quarter of this year and ending in December 2013.

In addition, the company secured a 20.8-billion RMB (approximately $3.1 billion U.S.) wafer supply agreement with Hareon Solar Technology, a major photovoltaic products supplier in China, which calls for the delivery of solar wafers over the next three years.

GCL Poly said its annual outputs of polysilicon and wafers are expected to reach 21,000 tons and 3.5 gigawatts, respectively. The company also owns a 20-megawatt solar power station in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. It is currently the largest solar farm by installed capacity in China.

Motech Industries Inc., a leading solar cell manufacturer in Taiwan, announced recently the signing of a three-year raw material supply contract with KAM, a multicrystalline silicon supplier. The $49.5-million contract will be executed from January next year.

Motech increased its year-to-date production capacity of solar cells to 1.15 gigawatts, hitting its full-year production capacity goal of 1 gigawatt ahead of schedule. With the continuous expansion of its production capacity, the signing of supply contracts with upstream raw material suppliers is expected to ensure a smooth delivery of the company’s products.

Shanghai Electric Group, one of the largest diversified equipment manufacturers in China, recently put its 61.4 percent stake in Shanghai Topsolar Green Energy up for sale for 162.7 million RMB (approximately $24.3 million U.S.). With a registered capital of 313 million RMB (approximately $47 million U.S.), Shanghai Topsolar Green Energy is a high-tech enterprise specializing in the research and development, production, sales and services of photovoltaic cells, photovoltaic modules and photovoltaic power generation systems.

As the largest shareholder of Shanghai Topsolar Green Energy, Shanghai Electric Group will not take a stake in the subsidiary after the shareholding transfer.

Sunowe Photovoltaic announced in September that it intends to acquire a 100 percent stake in a Zhejiang-based light energy technology company for 148 million RMB (approximately $22.2 million U.S.). The acquisition will enable Sunowe to carry out a 160-million, 8-inch solar wafer project, which is expected to go into production as early as August 2011. The facility, with an overall investment of 1.99 billion RMB (approximately $298 million U.S.), will be constructed in two phases.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Sunowe Photovoltaic said it will invest another 317 million RMB (approximately $47.5 million U.S.) in the light energy technology company in the form of a capital injection. The light energy technology company is 100 percent held by Sunowe Photovoltaic’s actual controller Wu Jianlong, and has not begun operations yet.

Sunowe Photovoltaic foresees a net profit of 145 million to 155 million RMB (approximately $21.7 million to $23.2 million U.S.) for the first nine months of 2010, up at least 132 percent year over year. The revenue is expected to range from 1.62 billion RMB (approximately $243 million U.S.) to 1.65 billion RMB (approximately $247 million U.S.).

China News Digest provided by Yuanyuan Liu and Jian Wen of Nanjing Shanglong Communications in Nanjing, China.

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