China Industry: Jan. 5

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Jan. 5 – This is a regular series of relevant industry news from around China.

Air transport
Taiwan-based China Airlines intends to launch a flight from Taipei to Miyazaki, Japan in 2010. The air carrier will fly on this route two times a week on Thursdays and Sundays. With the new route, China Airlines is boosting the number of its weekly flights to Japan to 81. The company will operate flights to eight destinations in Japan: Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Miyazaki, and Ryukyu.

China Eastern Airlines has inked a contract with civil aircraft maker Airbus to purchase 16 A330 planes for US$2.6 billion. The aircraft will be delivered between 2011 and 2014. In order to finance the deal, China Eastern will secure a bank loan.


China-based photovoltaic cells and modules maker Suntech Power Holdings said on Monday it has been awarded a Test Data Acceptance Program certificate by Germany technical and scientific association VDE.

Participation in the TDAP is expected to accelerate Suntech’s ongoing IEC certification process from about seven months to four months, the company said. As part of the program, VDE will regularly send experts to review the implementation of key quality tests and procedures at Suntech.

In June, Suntech’s PV module testing facility, the largest in Asia, was awarded the Underwriters Laboratories Witness Testing Data Program certificate.

German electronics group Siemens AG has begun talks with an unnamed Chinese company to set up a wind turbine manufacturing joint venture.

The venture is also expected to make offshore turbines, a largely untapped market with lucrative potential despite the harsh weather conditions. The turbine factory is seen to start production in Shanghai in the middle of 2010.

The German company has estimated the Chinese wind sector could fetch RMB10 billion in sales by 2011. It has already formed a steam turbine partnership with local power equipment maker Shanghai Electric.

French industrial gases group Air Liquide said it has recently signed thirteen new contracts with solar cell makers in China. The group said it has expanded its supply to Chinese market leaders JA Solar and Yingli Green Energy. In addition, the French company has recently been awarded long-term contracts in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Hebei, for the supply of carrier gases and of specialty gases.

U.S. renewable energy company Solar Energy Initiatives has joined forces with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) Taiwan to make and commercialize a series of new solar products and solutions.

The company said the partnership will lead ITRI to integrate its award-wining technologies into such solar solutions as LED lighting, silicon solar cell products, Si thin-film solar cell, module encapsulation, dye-sensitized solar cell and printable Copper indium gallium selenide .

Solar Energy Initiatives will manage all sales and integration services for ITRI’s engineering and technology support across the North American market.

China’s top National People’s Congress discussed a draft amendment to the Renewable Energy Act that requires power grid operators to buy all the electricity produced by renewable energy generators.

Some lawmakers, however, said renewable energy development in the country faces many problems such as grid-connection hurdles, over-production of wind power and solar cell material, and a lack of innovative key technologies. They suggested that revision of the law should focus on the prevention of blind development of renewable energy.

Vestas China, a unit of Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S, has secured a turbine order from wind energy developer China Datang Renewable for a 49 MW project in Inner Mongolia.

The contract includes delivery, transportation, installation and commissioning of V60-850 kW wind turbines, a Vestas Online Business SCADA solution and a two-year service and maintenance agreement, Vestas China said although the contract does not include towers.

The V60-850 kW is Vestas’ first-ever market-specific turbine and is tailored for the dry and harsh wind and weather conditions found in northern Chinese regions such as Inner Mongolia.

Vestas said it expected major Asian orders in the next five months. The deals come as demand for wind power in Asia is perking up, propped by rising project funding. The company has estimated the potential wind turbine demand in the region at 3,000 MW.

Chinese multi-crystalline solar wafers maker LDK Solar will slice some US$90 million off the total US$108.2 million net raised through a follow-on offering of American Depositary Shares to trim its debt.

The Xinyu City, Jiangxi-based manufacturer aims to restructure US$1.1 billion in short-term debt. The balance of the proceeds will bankroll polysilicon production plans as well as an expansion of the company’s solar module business. A further portion has been earmarked for general corporate purposes.

Chinese grid operators will be required to purchase all the electricity output produced by renewable energy capacities, according to regulations adopted earlier this week.

The rules are expected to benefit mostly wind farms in remote regions of the country but hurt grid operators, who scramble to provide cheap electricity to the population-dense coastal areas.

Grid operators who refuse to buy green electricity will face fines up to double the loss they cause renewable developers by not hooking up their projects, Xinhua news agency reports.

China’s national plan on renewable energy development issued in 2007 sets a target for sustainable resources to supply 15 percent of the country’s total energy consumption by 2020, up from the current 9 percent.

Chinese solar wafer maker Tianwei New Energy Wafer, a subsidiary of Baoding Tianwei Group, has taken over a 60 percent stake in U.S. clean energy specialist Hoku Scientific.

The China-based solar wafer maker acquired some 33.4 million newly-issued Hoku Scientific shares and was granted a warrant to buy additional 10 million shares of its common stock at the price of US$2.52 per share.

Taiwanese solar cell maker Motech Industries will pay US$4.54 million to purchase a solar-cell module assembly plant from U.S. industrial giant General Electric.

Motech said it had inked a deal with GE Energy, the energy unit of the U.S. firm, to use its brand on solar-cell modules produced in Delaware over a two-year period. The 30 MW Delaware plant in Newark will assemble crystalline silicon-based photovoltaic modules and employ 75.

This industry report brief is courtesy of Aii Data Processing.