Wed, Sep 19, 2018 - Page 12 News List

UREC eyes early profits through scope

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Newly formed United Renewable Energy Co (UREC, 聯合再生能源) yesterday said it aims to make a profit next year, two years ahead of schedule, as it rapidly widens its business scope to encapsulate the entire solar power supply chain.

The alliance, which is to officially launch on Oct. 1, is composed of the nation’s three biggest solar cell makers: Neo Solar Power Energy Corp (新日光能源), Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶能源) and Solartech Energy Corp (昇陽光電).

The firms have seen chronic losses as Chinese entrants have irrationally expanded capacities, which has led to a surfeit of supply and a price collapse.

“We have learned from experience that our old business model is wrong,” UREC chairman Sam Hong (洪傳獻) told reporters on the sidelines of a media briefing for the Energy Taiwan trade show in Taipei.

Local solar cell companies were stifled by focusing solely on contract manufacturing services, Hong said.

Taiwanese solar companies generated revenue of US$0.1 per watt from selling solar cells, only 6 percent of the US$1.5 per watt generated by solar system installation companies, he said.

“We have to transform ourselves into a company that generates revenue from every part of the solar supply chain,” Hong said. “The solar industry is not as miserable as some people have said.”

The worldwide solar market’s production value last year swelled to NT$5 trillion (US$162.27 billion) and 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar panels were installed, he said.

UREC is to provide one-stop-shop services and operate like an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company, Hong said.

In the solar industry, an EPC company designs and builds solar plants and procures equipment, he added.

“It is my hope that the company will become profitable next year,” Hong said.

In October last year, he said that the new company would become profitable within two years of its official launch.

UREC has adequate resources to promote its own-brand solar modules and expand its solar plant construction business, which deliver better margins than solar cells, Hong said.

UREC is to have a total installed capacity of 5GW of solar cells — about 10 percent of the global market based on this year’s projected worldwide installed capacity of 500GW, he said.

It is to have a total installed capacity of 1GW of solar modules, he said, adding that it does not plan to expand capacity to 3GW as previously planned.

The firm also aims to sell and install 1GW of photovoltaic systems annually within five years, targeting the US, Japan and Taiwan, he said.

The Energy Taiwan trade show is to run from tomorrow to Friday at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 1.

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