AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), the nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, said its solar cell manufacturing arm inaugurated a new plant yesterday with an ultimate annual capacity of 1.4 gigawatt high-efficiency solar cells.
In May, the Hsinchu-based panel maker unveiled its plan to form a US$700 million solar cell venture with SunPower Corp of Malaysia, completing the last piece of AUO’s involvement in the solar industry supply chain, after it invested in solar wafer manufacturing and solar system installation businesses.
The AUO-SunPower joint venture has produced 5 megawatts of solar cells since October, the companies said in a joint statement and the conversion rate reached 22.5 percent.
AUO expects to complete the construction of 18 production lines at the new solar cell plant by 2013. No information about the amount of the investment was disclosed.
“Malaysia’s investment in the AUO-SunPower joint venture — an excellent talent pool and a positive business investment climate — has given us the opportunity to significantly expand solar cell production that will meet the demand for solar worldwide, which has grown nearly eight-fold over the past four years. We appreciate our partnership with the Malaysian government,” SunPower chief executive Tom Werner said in a statement.
Next year, installation of solar panels is expected to grow 14 percent to 15.43 gigawatts from 13.53 gigawatts this year, Taipei-based researcher TrendForce Technology Corp (集邦科技) said.
However, supply is expected to grow beyond demand by between 20 gigawatts and 25 gigawatts, increasing concern of a supply glut, TrendForce said in a report released on Tuesday.
Separately, AUO said that as of the end of last month, it had 7,400 patents registered globally, which has given the company an upper hand in winning patent lawsuits. The company said that as of the end of last month, it had filed 15,000 patent applications.
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has deferred the implementation of the Basel III standards and capital requirements for “domestic systemically important banks” to ease their capital pressure so they can concentrate on helping businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, FSC Chairman Thomas Huang (黃天牧) said yesterday. The Basel III standards were set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and were originally to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. They have stricter capital requirements and adopt different approaches to calculating risks. However, the implementation of the standards would be delayed by one year in line with the revised timeline announced by
Phoenix Silicon International Corp (昇陽半導體) yesterday said strong demand from customers means it would maintain its capacity expansion plan for this year. The silicon wafer recycler, which counts Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) among its major customers, next quarter plans to add a capacity of 60,000 12-inch wafers per month, bringing its total capacity to 300,000 wafers a month. “Phoenix Silicon is enhancing its smart manufacturing capabilities and actively expanding 12-inch capacity at an existing fab to satisfy customer demand,” Phoenix chairman Mike Yang (楊聰敏) said in the firm’s annual report. Phoenix is also evaluating the feasibility of building a second fab
LOCKDOWN LETHARGY: Despite the overall 3.51 percent increase, the automobile and auto parts sector posted its largest year-on-year decline since the 2009 global crisis The nation’s industrial production increased 3.51 percent year-on-year last month, the third consecutive month of annual growth despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed yesterday. Output from the manufacturing sector, which makes up more than 90 percent of industrial output, expanded by 4.15 percent, largely due to demand for electronic components, the data showed. “Demand for electronic components remains robust due to new technologies and services, such as 5G, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and high-performance computing,” Department of Statistics Director-General Wang Shu-chuan (王淑娟) told a news conference in Taipei. Demand for servers, laptops, and network
EQUITIES TAIEX rebounds after slump The TAIEX yesterday staged a moderate technical rebound following Friday’s slump as bargain hunters bought into select market heavyweights, especially in the bellwether electronics sector. However, turnover remained thin as many investors stayed on the sidelines to see how tensions between Washington and Beijing play out after China unveiled plans to implement national security legislation in Hong Kong to tighten its grip on the territory, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 60.03 points, or 0.56 percent, at 10,871.18, on turnover of NT$146.074 billion (US$4.86 billion). Foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$4.57 billion of shares, Taiwan Stock