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Renewable energy

Hanwha acquires 16.67% of REC Silicon for $160 mn for US solar projects

With the equity investment, Hanwha Solutions aims to establish a US value chain for its solar cell business

By Nov 19, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hanwha Solutions' QCELLS plant in the US state of Georgia
Hanwha Solutions' QCELLS plant in the US state of Georgia

South Korea’s Hanwha Solutions Corp. has agreed to buy a 16.67% stake in Norway-based polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon ASA for $160.5 million to ensure a stable procurement of solar cell materials in the US.

With the investment, Hanwha will have the same equity stake in REC Silicon as that of the polysilicon maker’s largest shareholder Aker Horizons, a Norwegian renewable energy firm, the Korean company said on Thursday.

The equity purchase will be completed in January following regulatory approval in the related countries.

Hanwha Solutions, the energy unit of chemicals-to-financial conglomerate Hanwha Group, said its acquisition of REC Silicon will help its push to establish a US solar cell business value chain.

REC Silicon owns and operates two polysilicon manufacturing plants in the US – one in Moses Lake, Washington with an annual production capacity of 18,000 tons and the other in Butte, Montana with a capacity of 2,000 tons.

Polysilicon or polycrystalline silicon is a raw material used by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry.

REC's production plant in the US state of Washington (Courtesy of REC Silicon)
REC's production plant in the US state of Washington (Courtesy of REC Silicon)

FURTHER US POLICY SUPPORT

Hanwha Solutions, the parent of solar panels maker Hanwha QCELLS Co., said it is also seeking further cooperation with Aker in the solar business in the US.

The US government, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, plans to raise the ratio of solar power to 40% of its electricity generation by 2035 from 34% this year.

In the US, Hanwha Solutions currently operates a 1.7 GW solar cell module plant in Georgia through its unit QCELLS.

Polysilicon, a raw material used by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry
Polysilicon, a raw material used by the solar photovoltaic and electronics industry

Hanwha said it is considering additional investment in the US market and expects significant policy support when the US Congress passes the Solar Energy Manufacturing Act (SEMA) before year’s end.

Hanwha Group has been actively pursuing renewable energy, including solar, wind and hydrogen, as its key growth drivers.

Write to Jung-hwan Hwang at jung@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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