Tuesday, October 14, 2008

China's JinkoSolar gets $35M

October 13, 2008

Silicon-wafer manufacturer looks at Israeli technology and international expansion ahead of IPO plans.

Shangrao, China-based JinkoSolar said today it raised $35 million in its second round of equity funding.

The round was led by the city of Shangrao, China Israel Value Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group and Israel's Pitango.

JinkoSolar, located in the Jiangxi province, uses a proprietary process involving recovered silicon materials and raw polysilicon to make silicon ingots, which the company makes into monocrystalline and multicrystalline wafers. JinkoSolar then sells the wafers for use in panels.
The company says it cuts wafers more thinly than competitors, which yields more wafers from the raw material and lowers the cost.

The price of polysilicon has been on the rise for the past seven years, recently hitting an all-time high of $400 per kilogram, according to ResearchInChina.

The new round of funding is expected to help the company access technologies from Israel and expand internationally, according to Chen Kang Ping, founder and CEO of JinkoSolar.

The investors said they are working to prepare JinkoSolar for an IPO on the Nasdaq "as soon as the markets are ready," according to Jin Haitao, chairman of Shenzhen Capital Group and general partner of China Israel Value Capital.

China Israel Value Capital's General Partner Ami Dotan said the company made the investment because JinkoSolar has secured long-term silicon supplies and sales contracts, "giving the company an edge over their competitors, especially due to the inconsistent silicon availability."

The solar market is likely to be oversupplied by late 2009 or early 2010, according to a report in September by Thomas Weisel Partners. The causes are an increasing polysilicon supply and rapid growth in the production capacity of silicon wafers. However, the report said, solar is still a healthy market, especially for companies with consistent silicon supplies and vertical integration.

Chinese company produces 1st solar-powered car

One of China's first group of solar-powered cars went on display last Friday at the 29th Zhejiang International Bicycles and Electric-powered Cars Exhibition in Hangzhou, eastern China's Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou.com.cn reported.

A solar-powered car is on display on October 9, 2008 in Hangzhou.

The mini car produced by Zhejiang's 001 Group was designed to target the increasingly serious energy crisis. The group has so far produced over 10 such cars and each of them will sell for 38,000 yuan (US$5,560).

Sheng Gangxiang, an engineer at the Zhejiang 001 Group, told reporters that the vehicles have solar panels on their roofs that turn the sun's rays into energy to get them going. The car can absorb 95 percent of the solar energy it takes in, however, it can only transform 14 to 17 percent of that into electricity, roughly the same as solar cars manufactured elsewhere.

The solar-driven car can travel 150 kilometers after 30 hours of solar charging. But an only one-hour charge will get the car going for only five kilometers.

At present, solar energy is mostly used in water heaters in China.

(CRI October 14, 2008)

Suntech Wins New China Mobile Contract

Posted by: Cherry Zhang on Oct 14, 2008

Jiangsu-based photovoltaic cell manufacturer Suntech (NYSE: STP) announced on Tuesday that it has won the bid for China Mobile's (NYSE: CHL, 941.HK) 2008 photovoltaic system integration and controller procurement project (24V) and solar cell module and installation support. Suntech beat out more than 30 competitors including Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) to offer an estimated 2MWp in solar cell modules. Suntech was China Mobile's largest solar supplier providing 1.4MWp of solar modules to nine provinces in 2007.

LDK says polysilicon plant on track to meet goals

Associated Press 10.14.08

NEW YORK - China-based LDK Solar Co., which makes solar power products, said Tuesday it is on track to meet its production targets at a polysilicon plant it is currently building.

LDK said it still plans to produce between 5,000 and 7,000 metric tons of the material in 2009 at a plant that will have annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons.

The company said a separate 1,000 metric ton plant has been completed and is the process of being commissioned for use. It plans to update the expected production levels for the fourth quarter in a separate announcement.