South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group has officially sealed the acquisition of German solar cell manufacturer Q-Cells by announcing the launch of Hanwha Q.Cells.

The company is celebrating the launch at an event in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany.

The establishment of Hanwha Q.Cells positions Hanwha as, the company claims, the third largest solar manufacturer in the world. Charles Kim has been appointed CEO of Hanwha Q.Cells, moving from his position as President of Hanwha SolarOne. Replacing him will be Min Su Kim who moves from Hanwha Group.

The launch of Hanwha Q.Cells is part of Hanwha Group’s strategic investment plans, which aim to broaden the company’s solar offerings and accelerate technology developments ranging from advanced cell technology to system optimization for lowering Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), EPC and project development capabilities.

At present, Hanwha has 2.3GW of manufacturing capacity distributed across Germany, Malaysia and China, which the company believes gives it a competitive advantage to supply any region in the world, free of trade sanctions.

“The synergies between Q.CELLS and Hanwha offer a rare opportunity to quickly build a world leading solar company,” said Kim. “The Q.Cells track record of quality, innovation and excellence align with Hanwha Group’s financial resources, manufacturing expertise and global customer network to form one of the strongest solar companies in the world, ready to lead the industry into a new era.”

The acquisition was originally announced at the end of August and includes Q-Cells’ headquarters, R&D centre and administrative operations in Germany; 200MW cell and 120MW module manufacturing facilities in Germany; an 800MW cell manufacturing facility in Malaysia; entities in the US, Australia and Japan; 34 patents; and 1,225 employees.