Chinese renewable energy giant Hanergy and German solar construction and investment company Saferay both announced plans on Thursday to set up international headquarters in Singapore.
The news comes in the wake of the of the PV Asia Pacific Conference, which took place in Singapore Oct. 29-30 and in the midst of the Singapore International Energy Week (Oct. 28-Nov.1).
The arrival of Hanergy and Saferay further solidifies the country's growing role as a focal point for the Asian Pacific PV sector.
Hanergy Global Investments and Sales, a subsidiary of the leading thin film solar company and clean energy group, is setting up global headquarters in Singapore to oversee sales and investment activities worldwide.
"Singapores commitment towards developing the clean energy industry as a key growth area is strategically aligned with the companys long term vision and is the primary reason for locating the global headquarters here," said Jason Chow, chairman and CEO of Hanergy Global Investments & Sales and executive president of Hanergy Holdings' PV Application Group.
Hanergy's decision to set up a major beachhead in Singapore follows the company's success in making significant inroads into solar PV markets around the globe. In China, Hanergy is cooperating with Swedish home furniture giant Ikea on a grid-connected solar power generation project for all of the Ikea stores in China as well as Ikea's selected suppliers. In Europe, 3-5 kW solar energy generation equipment for residential use will be made available in six IKEA stores in the United Kingdom this year, with expansion plans for more Ikea stores in European countries in the coming years.
Hanergy expects the new global headquarters in Singapore to play a critical role in downstream solar PV product development, investment management and project development and financing.
"We warmly welcome Hanergy's decision to establish its global business control tower in Singapore," said Lim Kok Kiang, assistant managing director designate of the Singapore Economic Development Board. "This investment will add to the vibrancy of our solar industry ecosystem and strengthen Singapore's position as a global clean energy hub. It also affirms the value of Singapore as an effective internationalization platform for Chinese clean energy companies."
Chow added that Hanergy Global Investments and Sales would be well positioned to leverage its vertically integrated CIGS PV manufacturing capability "to fully engage in a region of emerging markets that is poised for significant growth in clean energy consumption over the next few decades."
Saferay, meanwhile, said a number of factors made Singapore a clear choice for setting up its international headquarters for the future growth of the company.
Saferay has experienced significant growth in the past four years and in focusing on large-scale solar power plants with a minimum investment volume of some $40 million per project, it "relies on a safe business environment, efficient processes and clear regulations, availability of high-end professional staff and a strong local service industry."
Singapore, it added, not only offers these factors, but also the perfect location in Asia.
The group recently established local division Saferay Pte Ltd in Singapore, which oversees the entire Asian solar project business as well as the worldwide supply chain management for the Saferay group.
"The scope of activities in Singapore will be enlarged very quickly," said Saferay managing director Thomas Gnefkow. "We are going to set up an operation and maintenance center serving our global solar asset base out of Singapore and intensify the discussion with the local financing community to obtain project financing for our worldwide projects. We are looking forward to be a vital part of the local clean-tech community and eager to contribute to the development of the sector in Singapore."
Goh Chee Kiong, executive director of Cleantech at the Singapore Economic Development Board, added: "Singapore is well positioned as the leading project development and financing hub for clean energy in Asia Pacific, which has become the largest market for solar energy. Companies can leverage Singapores strengths in technology, ability to attract international talent as well as its sophisticated financial market to grow their business. We are pleased that Saferay has chosen Singapore as their international headquarters as it will increase the vibrancy of the clean energy ecosystem in Singapore."
Launched in 2010, the Berlin-based Saferay realizes and finances plants primarily for its own asset base. It has installed more than 700 MW of global PV capacity and is currently building a 30 MW plant in Chile.
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