LG to invest USD$820 million in solar business21. June 2010 | Top News, Industry & Suppliers, Applications & Installations | By: Becky Stuart
LG Electronics (LG) has announced plans to significantly expand its solar business by investing USD$820 million (KRW one trillion) over the next five years toward its solar cell manufacturing facility in Gumi, southeast of Seoul.
The news comes as Centrotherm photovoltaics AG announces it has finished the ramp-up of two lines for the manufacturing of crystalline solar cells for the company.
Solar energy is one of LG’s key next-generation growth strategies and the investment will increase production capacity to more than 1 gigawatt (GW) and contribute to sales of USD$2.4 billion (KRW 3 trillion) by 2015, reports the company.
LG completed construction of its first 120 MW (megawatt) capacity solar line in Gumi at the end of 2009 after converting a PDP module assembly line to produce solar panels. LG’s solar business officially launched this year with the plant starting full operation mass-producing crystalline solar cells and modules from silicon wafers.
Production will be further expanded with the addition of another 120 megawatts (MW) solar cell line this year to increase its overall capacity to 240 MW. At Intersolar Europe, LG announced that it had closed a deal for the entire 120 MW production yield for 2010 and had strong interest from buyers for its 2011 production as well.
“We are determined to make LG a leading player in the renewable solar energy business and our Gumi production facility is the centerpiece of this vision,” said Kwan-shik Cho, vice president of LG’s Solar Business. “LG’s research and development, know-how and brand strength will be key factors in this effort.”
Meanwhile in other news, Centrotherm photovoltaics AG has announced the conclusion the ramp-up of two lines for the manufacturing of crystalline solar cells for LG.
One line has been created for mono-crystalline solar cells, whilst the other will focus on multi-crystalline solar cells. "With the first two lines, we have succeeded in entering mass solar cell production within the shortest possible time span," commented Mr. Cho. "The aim is to rapidly expand capacity further in order to participate in the sector's growth, and to develop into one of the leading solar cells suppliers."
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