Comtec, Sunway to collaborate on PV storage applications

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed this week, the venture will maintain a “strong focus on research and development.” The partnership is still subject to approval by the boards of both companies, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Kuala Lumpur-listed Sunway will set up a joint project team with Comtec Malaysia, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese monocrystalline PV producer. Comtec Malaysia will provide facilities and help to train personnel. The two sides will then develop and deploy residential and commercial PV systems backed by storage batteries. They may seek funding from the Malaysian government to support their efforts.

“The MoU marks the group’s continuous efforts to develop and expand such businesses, with a view to creating synergies through the integration of the downstream solar business with (its) existing upstream solar business,” Comtec Solar Systems said.

Earlier this month, the Comtec group — which first started looking at the battery storage market in May — acquired a 70% stake in battery systems developer Zhenjiang Kexin Power System Design and Research. The company primarily designs lithium battery solutions for electric vehicles, as well as energy storage applications.

In September, group unit Comtec Renewable Energy agreed to set up a venture to develop PV projects with Macquarie Capital. The two sides aim to build up to 50 MW distributed-generation solar capacity in China. The announcement of the tie-up came roughly seven months after Comtec bought a 51% stake in solar developer Forum (Asia).

In August, the Comtec group posted a net profit of about CNY 8.8 million ($1.3 million) for the first half of 2017. The results came as a relief for the group, as it recorded a net loss of CNY 6.4 million in the first six months of the preceding year.

Comtec posted a full-year net loss of approximately CNY 1 billion in the 12 months to the end of December 2016. It mainly blamed the loss on its efforts to restructure its business, which included writing down monocrystalline silicon manufacturing assets in Malaysia.