Shunfeng International Clean Energy (SFCE) and a branch of the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group have signalled their shared intent to develop clean energy facilities in regions including Europe.
Shunfeng owns PV module manufacturer Suntech and a number of other interests, including the a Germany-based operations and maintenance (O&M) firm launched in October, Raising Power. A month before that the company also bought project developer SAG Solarstrom, also from Germany, which had become insolvent.
A statement announcing the strategic agreement with China General Nuclear Power Group subsidiary CGN European Energy was fairly unclear on the exact scope of the partnership between the two. However, the CEO of CGN European Energy, Lu Wei, revealed that the companies were likely to focus on large-scale clean energy projects in Europe.
“The cooperation is mutually beneficial, fully leveraging our capital, as well as our market and technology advantages in the clean energy sector. It is aimed at promoting large-scale clean energy applications in regions such as Europe, and facilitates the rapid development of clean energy around the world,” Lu Wei said, talking up Shunfeng’s experience in developing PV power plants, energy storage and in O&M.
Wei said that as well as nuclear, his own company had been involved in overseas projects in clean energy, in managing assets, mergers and acquisitions as well as development and construction.
In September 2014, parent company China General Nuclear Power Group raised US$227 million in an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for renewables, exceeding an expected US$197 million. That amount was raised for another subsidiary, Meiya Power.
Opportunities for utility-scale are much less apparent in Europe than they had been in the past few years, although they do exist. Germany is holding auctions to tender 1.2GW of large-scale solar between now and 2017, while Turkey’s utility-scale market is starting to gather interest, with fellow vertically integrated Chinese PV manufacturer Yingli Green recently completing its first project there.