Hyundai Heavy Industries to double solar power production capacity

Korea’s conglomerate said it plans to almost double its annual module and cell production capacity from the current levels of 320MW and 370MW to 600MW, respectively, by early 2011.

To double the capacity, Hyundai Heavy Industries plans to complete the expansion of its solar power factory in Eumseong, north Choong-cheong province by early next year and start full-scale production from the second quarter of 2011.

The company said the decision to expand the Eumseong facility was based on increasing demand for solar cells and solar modules from European countries including Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

According to a report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) issued in April, the global solar power market will continue to grow from 7GW in 2009 to 19 GW in 2012 and 30GW in 2014 with the help of the improved profitability of solar power industry and government support for renewable energy.

Mr. Kim Kweon-tae, chief operating officer of Hyundai Heavy’s Electro Electric Systems Division said, “we already had enough orders for this year and we are now receiving orders for next year. Our target is to be global top 10 with annual sales of 2 trillion won and annual production capacity of 1GW by 2012.”

Stabilising polysilicon prices and rising solar cell and solar module prices also help to improve profitability of the solar power industry. While polysilicon price per kilogram remains around US$50-US$55, solar cell prices jumped 10%, from US$1.2 to US$1.35 and solar module rose 15% from US$1.6 to US$2 this year.

From June this year, Hyundai Heavy has been producing 3,000 tons of polysilicon prototypes at KAM (Korea Advanced Materials Co.), a company jointly established with KCC.

This year, Hyundai Heavy targets to be the first Korean solar power company with an integrated solar power production system by having an annual production capacity of 100MW ingot/wafer as well. With the integrated solar power production system, Hyundai Heavy can manufacture a full range of solar power products such as the polysilicon; ingot/wafer; solar cell; solar module; and solar power system.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity