Wed, Oct 07, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Skies bright for solar-cell maker Motech

CLOUDY SUMMER A summertime slump depressed prices, but the company says its factories should be fully utilized by next month as demand recovers in its major markets


Motech Industries Inc (茂迪), the nation’s biggest solar-cell maker, expects factories to be fully used by the end of the year, fueled by recovering demand in Europe and US, a senior executive said yesterday.

Most solar companies fell into the red this year because of overcapacity as well as reduced government subsidies and bank financing on solar installations — and Motech was no exception. It lost NT$234 million (US$7.3 million) in the second quarter on falling prices.

“We are seeing orders coming in quite steadily, so we are busy moving new equipment [to a new production line in China],” Motech chairman Simon Tsuo (左元淮) told reporters on the sideline of a press conference promoting this year’s photovoltaic trade show in Taipei.

Tainan-based Motech plans to boost capacity by more than 30 percent this year to a revised-down 600 megawatt from 450 megawatt last year.

“Demand is mostly from the European and US markets,” Tsuo said.

More than 70 percent of Motech’s revenues come from the Europe and US markets.

The company’s factories should be fully utilized by next month, reflecting reviving demand from a slump over the summer, which caused a steep decline in price, he said.

Prices might slip more this quarter on early rebound, Tsuo said.

Demand for solar modules would be better next year than last year, he said, and prices would not drop as much as this year’s 30 percent to 40 percent annual decline.

In a recently released report, HSBC Securities said Motech should return to profit this quarter, helped by seasonal demand and stabilizing price.

“Third quarter should be the peak in 2009 and shipments and selling price are likely to trend down in the fourth quarter,” HSBC Securities analyst Christine Wang said in the report.

Wang gave an “under-weight” rating on Motech.

Motech shares rose 1.27 percent to NT$87.7 yesterday on the GRETAI Securities Market.

Meanwhile, organizers of Taiwan International Photovoltaic Forum and Exhibition said about 236 solar companies will be showcasing their products at the annual trade show, up 52 percent from last year.

Exhibitors will include Germany’s GP Solar, LDK Solar Co Ltd (江西賽維) from China and Taiwan’s Motech, and Auria Solar Co Ltd (宇通光能).

The show opens today at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 and runs through Friday. A forum will be held in conjunction with the show at the Taipei International Convention Center.

The show is only open to company representatives and people from the solar industry.

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