Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Tainergy Tech to boost production

SOLAR SELLS Demand for solar-cell equipment is expected to grow by as much as 20 percent every year, with global output set to reach 10 gigawatts

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH BLOOMBERG

Tainergy Tech Co (太極能源科技), a new solar-cell maker, said yesterday it would seek to boost production to approximately 1 gigawatt in Taiwan and China in the next few years on the back of robust demand amid growing awareness of the threat of global warming.

Established in May, Tainergy intends to begin mass production at its first production line in northern Taiwan during the first quarter of next year, chairman Frank Hsieh (謝清福) told reporters. The initial annual output will be 50 megawatts.

The solar-cell maker is a subsidiary of Kenmec Mechanical Engineering Co (廣運機械), which supplies thin-film-transistor panel manufacturing equipment to the world's major flat-panel makers, including Sharp Corp and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電).

"This [tapping into the solar energy sector] sets a new milestone for Kenmec's 31-year history," said Hsieh, who doubles as chairman of Kenmec. "We believe the solar industry will be a promising business in the next three decades."

He made the remarks after signing an agreement with solar-cell equipment supplier Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG to purchase equipment and transfer technology from the German firm.

Tainergy's revenues could amount to as much as NT$5 billion in the first year of operation, Hsieh said.

Demand for solar-cell equipment is expected to grow by between 15 percent and 20 percent annually around the globe, with output totaling 10 gigawatts in the next 10 years, said Hans Autenrieth, managing director of the Taipei-based Centrotherm.

By the end of next year, equipment installed in Taiwan would produce as much as 2 gigawatts, Autenrieth said.

Tainergy aims to expand its production to 200 megawatts in 2009 by ramping up three production lines at home, Hsieh said.

In China, Tainergy also planned to set up production lines in Suzhou, with output totaling 600 megawatts per year, he said.

To fund the construction of more production lines, Tainergy will seek to increase its capital to NT$500 million this year and to NT$1 billion next year.

Meanwhile, LDK Solar Co, a Chinese maker of materials used to produce solar cells, won a contract worth about US$495 million from Taiwan's Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光能源科技), gaining a second order with a Taiwanese company in less than two weeks.

LDK Solar will deliver wafers used to make solar cells as part of the agreement through the end of 2009, a statement said yesterday.

Neo Solar is an affiliate of Hsinchu-based Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), the nation's biggest computer-memory chipmaker.

The China-based company raised US$469.4 million in June in the largest US initial public offering by a Chinese business in two-and-a-half years. LDK said it had signed a three-year contract worth US$516 million with Taiwan's Chuan-Yi Investment Corp.

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