Tue, Aug 08, 2006 - Page 12 News List

AUO says solar energy cell report untrue

BLOOMBERG

AU Optronics Corp denied a Commercial Times report that the company will invest in solar-cell manufacturing.

The Commercial Times reported yesterday that AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), the nation's second-largest LCD producer, may convert their equipment to make the energy cells. Chi Mei spokeswoman Loreta Chen (陳靜燕) declined to comment.

"We don't know where they get that information," said Hsiao Ya-wen (蕭雅文), a spokeswoman for AU Optronics. "We've not had any discussion" about solar cell production.

The government is offering tax breaks to turn Taiwan into a production center for solar panels, which use silicon wafers to convert sunlight into electricity, to tap demand for alternative energy sources. AU Optronics and Chi Mei currently have no facilities to make the cells.

Four Taiwanese companies started investing in solar cell manufacturing last year and eight more plan to do so this year, according to the Bureau of Energy.

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