Renewable Energy Corporation ASA (REC) has completed its site selection project and decided to establish its new worldscale integrated solar manufacturing complex in Singapore. The manufacturing complex will be developed in stages. It will incorporate wafer, cell and module production facilities and will have the potential of becoming the world's largest complex of its kind. Fully developed, the manufacturing complex could hold a production capacity of up to 1.5 GW.
Høvik, October 25, 2007: REC has today decided to establish its new worldscale solar manufacturing complex in Singapore and has simultaneously signed an agreement with the Singaporean government agency Economic Development Board (EDB). The agreement outlines both the terms and conditions related to the development of a new production site, the process of establishing a manufacturing complex, as well as operational and commercial conditions.
The decision on Singapore was made after a comprehensive 9 months' process involving screening of more than 200 possible locations, followed by due diligence of close to 20 of them and finally negotiations with a handful of sites. REC has finalized with EDB a comprehensive support package, including incentives and grants, in the areas of tax, R&D and process improvement, as well as human resources recruitment and training. For REC, Singapore represents the ideal balance between financial return, risks and future opportunities.
"The development of this site will enable us to continue expanding in a cost efficient manner and will support REC's ambitious cost target. Our future cost position will determine our ability to deliver solar products that can compete with traditional energy sources in the sunny areas of the world without government incentives", says Erik Thorsen, the President & CEO of REC.
The project concept is finalized and pre-engineering activities have commenced. The total development will be organized in several stages through a series of interdependent projects. The initial investment decision is expected to take place as soon as the pre-engineering activities for the first phase have been completed some time during first half of 2008.
In addition to the wafer, cell and module production, the manufacturing complex will incorporate infrastructure and support facilities, as well as an on-site supplier park. Sufficient space has also been reserved for future R&D activities and possible manufacturing facilities based on potential new technologies.
The green field site for this new manufacturing complex is located in Tuas View, approximately 30 minutes from the city centre in the western part of Singapore. The site can hold a capacity of up to 1.5 GW within each product area, although it is not likely that the production capacity for wafer, cells and modules will be fully balanced. Depending on the final capacity and site development, total investments in the Singapore site may exceed EUR 3 billion within the next 5 years and the total number of employees could be around 3 000 people.
"Singapore had articulated an exciting vision and plan to develop the solar industry as a key growth area for its economy. We are very happy to have been given the opportunity to build this solar industry complex in Singapore. We look forward to the continued co-operation with the local authorities, as well as research and development institutions, and the suppliers in the region", says Thorsen.
"We are delighted that REC has chosen Singapore to build the world's largest solar manufacturing complex. We are fully committed to work closely with REC to implement this project successfully. This investment will be a tremendous boost to our national drive to develop the solar industry. Investors like REC can leverage on Singapore's business-friendly environment, excellent infrastructure, availability of technical talent, strong government support to grow the solar industry, and long term political stability", says Ko Kheng Hwa, Managing Director, EDB
For more information, please contact;
Erik Thorsen, President & CEO; +47 907 56 685
Jon Andre Løkke, SVP & IRO; +47 67 81 52 65
REC is uniquely positioned in the solar energy industry as the only company with a presence across the entire value chain. REC Silicon and REC Wafer are the world's largest producers of polysilicon and wafers for solar applications. REC Solar produces solar cells and solar modules. REC Group had revenues in 2006 of NOK 4 334 million and an operating profit of NOK 1 574 million. Please also see www.recgroup.com
The EDB is the lead government agency in Singapore responsible for planning and executing economic strategies to enhance Singapore's position as a global hub for business and investment. EDB is the one-stop agency that facilitates and supports local and foreign investors in both the manufacturing and services sectors as they seek more value-creating operations, higher sustainable returns and new business opportunities. The emphasis is on capital-intensive, knowledge-intensive and innovation-intensive activities.
The EDB has identified the clean energy industry, with emphasis on solar energy, as a key growth area for Singapore. In March 2007, EDB launched a comprehensive blueprint to grow a world-class clean energy ecosystem in Singapore across the full value chain of activities in terms of research, development, engineering, manufacturing, system integration and headquarters.