GOYANG CITY, South Korea - South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. and France's Saint-Gobain will jointly build the largest thin-film solar cell plant in South Korea.
The companies will each invest 110 billion won ($99 million) in the plant for a total of $198 million.
This partnership will take the form of a 50-50 joint-venture, called Hyundai Avancis. The first manufacturing facility for the joint venture will be designed identically to Saint-Gobain's second thin-film solar plant currently under construction in Germany.
The Korean plant will produce an annual volume of 850,000 modules based on CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) thin-film technology. The site should be operational from the second quarter of 2012 and will supply the global market. Its modules will be marketed independently by the two firms.
Hyundai Heavy Industries has maintained a leading position in the world shipbuilding market. It is also manufacturing both advanced solar power and wind turbine system products.
The company is said to be South Korea's sole company that is able to produce entire solar value chain products ranging from polysilicon, solar cell and solar module all the way to power conditioning systems.
It is currently expanding facilities to increase annual production capacity of silicon solar cell and modules from 330MW to 600MW.In August 2010, the company won a $700 million contract to build a 175MW solar power plant from U.S.-based Matinee Energy.
Saint-Gobain markets, designs, manufactures and distributes building materials and electronic materials. It produces solar cells through its Avancis unit.