LONDON ReneSola, a Chinese company that recycles silicon wafers for use in solar panels, has raised $50 million from an initial public offering on Londonís Alternative Investment Market, according to the FT.Com website.
The company, based in Zheijiang province near Shanghai, plans to use the funds to significantly expand capacity and hopes to treble sales next year, according to the newspaperís website.
Founded only a year ago, the IPO values the Chinese group at $150 million, and is the the latest group in the countryís fast-growing solar sector to attract interest from overseas investors.
Before selling the 33 per cent stake to investors, the company was controlled by two senior managers, with Diverso Management, a China-based investor in renewable energy, owning 10 per cent.
From having 16 furnaces for recycling silicon at the start of the year, ReneSola is said to be planning 90 by the year-end. In addition to the orders already placed this will take wafer-cutting capacity up to 2.4 million per month by the end of 2006, the company said.
The company also has a large ingot manufacturing facility and plans to be among the three largest Chinese solar wafer manufacturers in 2007.
Another Chinese solar panel start-up, Suntech, late last year raised $455 million on the New York exchange in a heavily oversubscribed flotation.