Wednesday, January 16, 2008

China Sunergy to spend $150 mln to boost shipments

SHENZHEN, China, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Solar cell maker China Sunergy Co Ltd aims to spend $150 million to raise its shipment level to 500 megawatts after a few years, from an expected 160-170 megawatts this year, its chief executive said.

Nanjing-based Sunergy expects its gross margin to improve "significantly" this year as it adds more lines to produce high-efficiency cells, despite lingering supply constraints on key raw material polysilicon, Allen Wang, chief executive of Sunergy told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Wang was speaking on the sidelines of a solar technology conference in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

Sunergy sustained losses in the third quarter of last year, hurt by a tight supply environment for polysilicon, whose prices have shot up recently as solar cell and semiconductor companies scramble to secure supplies of the key ingredient.

LDK Solar says secures chemicals for silicon plant

NEW YORK, Jan 16 (Reuters) - LDK Solar Co Ltd said on Wednesday it had signed a long-term contract to buy trichlorosilane (TCS), a chemical used to make polysilicon, from Jiangxi Ganzhong Chlorine & Caustic Co Ltd.

Polysilicon is the key material in many photovoltaic cells that turn sunlight into electricity, but shortages of the material have driven prices for the material sharply higher.

Under the contract, Ganzhong will supply a minimum of 400 tons of TCS per month beginning in May 2008 and an expected minimum supply of 1,600 tons per month beginning in August.
Financial details of the contract were not released.

"We are pleased to enter into an agreement with Ganzhong to secure this key manufacturing material for our first polysilicon facility," stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO. "Ganzhong's close proximity to our polysilicon plant will enhance efficiencies. Through this contract with Ganzhong, we have secured 100% of our TCS requirements for planned polysilicon production in our first facility."

LDK is currently building a polysilicon production plant adjacent to its current solar wafer manufacturing facilities in Xinyu City, China, and analysts are closely watching the schedule of the plant's development.

LDK has said completion of the reactor building for the polysilicon plant is scheduled for April, and support equipment will be installed there in June.

Solar EnerTech Raises $21.4 Million in Private Placement

MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 15 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Solar EnerTech Corp. (the "Company") today announced that on January 11, 2008, the Company sold 24.3 million shares of its common stock and 24.3 million Series C Warrants to purchase shares of common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $21.4 million in a private placement offering to accredited investors. The exercise price of the warrants is $1.00 per share. The warrants are exercisable for a period of 5 years from the date of issuance of the warrants.

The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for working capital and general corporate purposes, including the financing of its recent $21.8 million purchase order with Sky Solar and the installation of a second 25Mw production line.

This transaction is described in more detail in its Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 15, 2008.

About Solar EnerTech Corp.

The Company is a PV solar energy cell manufacturing enterprise based in Shanghai, China, where the Company has established a 42,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Shanghai's Jinqiao Modern Technology Park. Currently the facility is capable of producing 25Mw of solar cells from its existing production line. The Company plans to install a second 25Mw production line to better utilize the capacity of the plant and to meet expected future customer demand.

The Company has also established a Joint R&D Lab at Shanghai University to research and develop higher-efficiency cells and to put the results of that research to use in its manufacturing processes. Led by one of the industry's top scientists, the Company expects its R&D program to help bring the Company to the forefront of advanced solar technology research and production. The Company also has a marketing, purchasing and distribution arm in Northern California's Silicon Valley.

Solarfun Announces Completion of Good Energies' Investment and Related Update of Share Transfer Restrictions

SHANGHAI, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Solarfun Power Holdings Co. , Ltd. ("Solarfun"; NASDAQ: SOLF), an established manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules and ingots in China, today announced the completion of Good Energies' investment and a related waiver of share transfer restrictions.

As previously disclosed on December 4, 2007, Good Energies Investments (Jersey) Limited ("Good Energies") entered into an agreement to purchase 66,745,638 ordinary shares and 281,011 ADSs of Solarfun from certain of Solarfun's current shareholders, including, among others, 38,634,750 ordinary shares from Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd, 6,271,875 ordinary shares from WHF Investment Co., Ltd, 12,574,660 ordinary shares from Citigroup Venture Capital International Growth Partnership, L.P., 686,191 ordinary shares from Citigroup Venture Capital International Co-Investment, L.P., 281,011 ADSs from Brilliant Orient International Limited, and 1,051,912 ordinary shares from LC Fund III, L.P.

Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd is owned by Mr. Yonghua Lu, Solarfun's founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. WHF Investment Co., Ltd is owned by Mr. Hanfei Wang, Solarfun's Director and Chief Operating Officer. In connection with the share purchase by Good Energies, all the individuals who were parties to the lock-up agreement dated June 20, 2006 agreed to waive the share transfer restrictions on Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd and WHF Investment Co., Ltd with respect to any share transfer made to Good Energies or its affiliates. Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd's restricted period had also been reduced to one year and WHF Investment Co., Ltd's had been reduced to two years, both measured from the date of the Solarfun's initial public offering in December 2006. In addition, pursuant to a shareholders agreement entered into in connection with the share purchase by Good Energies on December 4, 2007, Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd., may not, subject to certain limited exceptions, transfer any of Solarfun's shares beneficially owned by it during the one year period immediately following the date of such agreement, or transfer more than 50% of the number of Solarfun shares it held on December 27, 2007 during the second one year period following the date of such agreement.

The share transfer was completed at the end of December, 2007. Good Energies and/or its affiliates owned an approximate 34.34% interest, and Yonghua Solar Power Investment Holding Ltd. owned an approximate 15.95% interest in Solarfun as of December 31, 2007.

"I am pleased to see the completion of Good Energies' investment in our Company," commented Yonghua Lu. "With the solar industry becoming increasingly competitive on global basis, I look forward to leveraging the experience, knowledge and contacts of the Good Energies team as we seek to improve our competitive position and reach new levels of growth."

Jetion sees FY production, revenues, net profit slightly ahead of hopes

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Jetion Holdings Ltd said it expects full-year production, revenues and net profit to be slightly ahead of its forecasts, adding it sees trading in the calendar year 2008 to be in line with market expectations.

The solar cells and modules maker said it has continued to grow profitably during the second half of the year.

Total production in 2007 was 35.2 MegaWatt, a 151 pct increase in output from the previous year.

Looking ahead, the company in 2008 intends to add a further two production lines, increasing capacity to 100 MW per year, all of which is expected to be used for its own sales.

Jetion said it continues to move production towards modules and is targeting a higher proportion of the production mix to be modules in 2008 and it is expected that 50 pct of cell production will be converted to modules in 2008.

Going further, Jetion said a further machine is expected to be purchased and commissioned in the coming year, expanding capacity to about 17 MW per annum. During 2007, Jetion purchased and commissioned three wafer slicing machines.

Jetion has contracted the sale of its expected production for 2008 and has agreed prices in RMB for sales in the first half.