Tue, Jul 07, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Green Energy to postpone plant

SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS: Taiwan’s biggest solar panel maker will delay by two quarters construction of a wafer-cutting plant after it was affected by the financial turmoil

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), the nation’s biggest solar panel maker, yesterday said it planned to postpone the construction of a new plant to cut wafers by two quarters after it failed to raise enough capital amid a weak industry outlook.

Green Energy plans to spend NT$1.36 billion (US$41.2 million), down by 7 percent from its previous estimate of NT$1.5 billion, on its second wafer-cutting plant, the Taoyuan-based company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The solar wafer maker hopes to complete the construction of the plant in the fourth quarter of this year, rather than in the second quarter as originally scheduled, the filing said.

“Affected by the financial turmoil, the company is unable to raise enough funds via its original fund-raising plan,” Green Energy said when explaining its reason for trimming the budget for new equipment investment in the filing. “In addition, the market outlook is unclear.”

The installment of solar panels could fall to 3.5 gigawatts this year from 5.2 gigawatts last year as governments cut subsidies and switch their focus to rescuing financially troubled banks, said a report by Taipei-based IBT Securities Co (台灣工銀證券), citing market researcher iSuppli’s forecast.

Green Energy had planned to raise as much as US$50 million by offering convertible bonds to overseas investors and using part of the proceeds to buy new equipment to repay bank loans and to finance operations.

The company expected the adjustment of its new wafer slicing plant to reduce the effect on its operation. Green Energy said the new plant would help save costs and boost profits.

Currently, Green Energy operates a wafer cutting plant in Taoyuan County with annual capacity of 50,000 wafers.

Separately, the nation’s top solar cell maker, Motech Industries Inc (茂迪), yesterday said it had secured an order from a Chinese local government in Kunshan to supply 56-megawatt solar cells for the installment of solar panels on the rooftops of government agencies.

Share prices for Motech were unchanged at NT$131, while Green Energy shares rose 0.47 percent to NT$106.50 yesterday.

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