Hanwha SolarOne signs MoU to expand China downstream business

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Tier one manufacturer Hanwha SolarOne has begun establishing a “long-term strategic partnership to develop downstream PV projects” with the Wuxi New District Administrative Committee in China.

Wuxi New District is on the eastern coast of China and was designated an industrial zone in the early 1990s, aimed at attracting investment from abroad. Hanwha SolarOne and the regional committee have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the effect that the administrative committee will provide rooftop space for PV projects, facilitate approvals from local government and ensure grid connection.

Wuxi New District Administrative Committee will also assist Hanwha SolarOne in gaining preferential tax treatment as well as project financing.

The deal is planned to ultimately result in Hanwha SolarOne becoming the owner and operator of 100MW of distributed generation of projects in the district.

The company’s chief financial officer, Jay Seo, said the agreement with committee marked “another important step” for Hanwha SolarOne in developing its downstream business in China. Seo stated that the company intended to become a significant project owner and operator in China.

“We feel confident that this latest business development, coupled with a number of previous announcements, serves as a solid foundation to establish a growing PV project portfolio in 2014,” said Seo.

In February Hanwha Solar One raised US$21 million from a share issue, although this fell some way short of a hoped-for US$70 million.

Earlier this month, Hanwha SolarOne announced that it aimed to meet an expected module shipment growth of 25% this year by expanding the company’s solar cell and PV module capacity, spending around US$80 million of capital in the process. 

The company also announced this week that it supplied 6.2MW of modules to a project under construction by two Spanish companies in Guatemala.

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