The scale of Chinese state backing for real estate mogul Cheng Kin Ming’s ambitious solar plans has again been emphasized by the announcement his Shunfeng International Clean Energy Group is planning a JV with the state aerospace and defense corporation.
Having seen his decision to bankroll Shunfeng’s acquisition of failed former world leader Wuxi Suntech‘s solar manufacturing capacity and, as Shunfeng’s chief shareholder, having presumably driven decisions to wipe a further RMB28 billion ($4.5 billion) of debt off the company’s balance sheet, Cheng was rewarded in February by a fresh RMB20 billion ($3.2 billion) credit line from the state-owned Industrial Commercial Bank of China and the company has now revealed it has entered a long-term strategic agreement with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shunfeng announced it intends to form a 50-50 joint vehicle with AVIC, which was set up by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and which has more than 200 member companies across industries including asset management, construction, automotive, logistics and trade as well as aerospace and defense.
The strategic agreement was reached after Hong Kong trading hours on Thursday and will presumably be part of Shunfeng’s ambitious plans to outline energy saving solutions at household, community and city scales this year.
Having become a big player in solar with the acquisition of the manufacturing assets of former world number one Wuxi Suntech in April 2014, Shunfeng has embarked on an acquisition spree incorporating companies with expertise in ground source heat pumps, electric vehicles and LED lighting.
News of the strategic tie-up comes as U.S. secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker and department of energy deputy secretary Dr Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall lead the Smart Cities, Smart Growth U.S.-China business development mission to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou this week.
The presidential trade mission, which started yesterday (Sunday) and finished on Friday, will see 25 U.S. companies seek business in the fields of green construction, retrofitting buildings for energy management, building management, green data centers, carbon capture utilization and storage, smart grids, green transportation and technology for energy efficiency, clean air and water and waste treatment.