Renewable Energy Corp plans $2.5 billion PV manufacturing investment in Singapore

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Renewable
Energy Corporation ASA (REC) has announced plans to invest NOK 13
billion, approximately $2.5 billion in a new manufacturing complex to
be built in Singapore that will include an initial capacity of 740MW of
multicrystalline solar wafers, 550MW of solar cells and 590MW of solar
modules starting in the first quarter of 2010. Full capacity is
expected to be reached before 2012, and is being treated as ‘Phase 1’
of several planned developments, with the decision for the next
expansion phase said to be made in 2009, according to REC.

“This investment supports REC’s position as a leading provider of highly competitive solar energy solutions, and in achieving our main corporate goals of reducing costs and securing profitable growth. The project cost levels should enable us to compete profitably at grid-parity prices in several markets, which is essential in building a robust business case”, says Erik Thorsen, President and CEO of REC ASA. “Our entry into Singapore ensures continued revenue growth beyond the significant growth to come from all the ongoing capacity expansions across all REC’s business activities. Based on this expansion, REC should be producing ~2,400MW of wafers, ~780MW of cells and ~740MW of modules in 2012, and this will secure a significant presence for REC in key solar markets.”

The investment will be funded through operating cash flow and existing and new credit facilities, REC said. The company has already established a project team in Singapore and Norway since April, when groundbreaking and engineering work begun.

REC said that 90 percent of the equipment procurement had been secured to ensure they met schedules as well as the polysilicon required due to already announced capacity expansions at its production sites in Moses Lake and Butte.

REC also announced separately that it has approved plans to invest up to NOK 400 million to upgrade its production facility at Herøya to accept thinner wafers and boost wafer production by 100MW. This would see production reach 1.75 GW in 2011.

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