Samsung and HHI deny solar exit rumors

23. February 2012 | Top News, Industry & Suppliers, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Stuart

Various media sources have reported that Korean electronics giants, Samsung and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) are looking to significantly scale-back their solar businesses. However, according to the companies, the rumors are false.

Hyundai solar power factory in Eumseong

The rumors that Korea's solar giants are exiting the business are false.

The Korea Times has reported that both companies are reducing their solar activities in light of the difficult market conditions encountered last year. Specifically, the media organization writes that Samsung is looking to shut down its solar cell business, while HHI has scrapped plans to build two photovoltaic plants in Arizona, the U.S. and will sell its crystalline silicon production business.

However, according to both companies, the news is nonsense. Responding to questions from pv magazine, Samsung released a statement from executive VP, Yeochang Yoon, saying, "It is unclear how the rumors materialized, however what is clear is that the media's interpretation of Samsung's latest strategic move extended too far. Samsung will continue to grow its solar business - solar energy is among the new businesses that the Samsung Group has committed to for the long-term."

He added that the company will continue to operate in the crystalline business and that it will expand its research and development in the areas of crystalline and CIGS technology.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for HHI told pv magazine that the information published in the Korea Times is completely false. With regards to the two photovoltaic plants in Arizona, the company is still working on its plans and is currently negotiating the terms. They could not provide more specific details, however. Furthermore, they said that HHI is not in talks with anyone to sell its crystalline silicon business.

What the spokesperson did decline to comment on, however, is the statement in the Korea Times that the company has reduced investment in its solar business by 40 percent.

pv magazine shall be visiting South Korea in March, and will cover the market in its May edition.

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