REC celebrates official launch of the manufacturing site in Singapore

Norway's Renewable Energy Corporation ASA (REC) outlined its commitment as a major partner in the development of Singapore's clean energy industry at the official launch of its manufacturing site in Tuas due to start operations in 2010.

REC, a world leading producer of polysilicon and wafers and a pioneer in the global renewable energy industry, will invest approximately S$3 billion in Singapore and create 1300 jobs in phase 1. This is the single biggest investment in the growing clean energy sector in Singapore and the dawn of a new era in Singapore's drive to become a global renewable energy hub.

The Tuas integrated manufacturing complex will produce end-to-end photovoltaic solar energy components including wafers, cells and modules for the international solar energy market.

Averaging growth of 40-50 % per annum since 2002, the solar energy industry has been one of the fastest growing in the world.

As one of the world's leading solar energy solutions manufacturers, REC chose Singapore as the ideal partner for its global expansion plans over 200 potential suitors. The Tuas plant will form the heart of Asia's most dynamic renewable energy hub, supporting an expanding network of suppliers, service companies, research and development labs and technology experts.

Tuas Phase 1 is on target to begin operations in the first quarter of 2010 and will reach full capacity of 740 MW of wafers, 550 MW of cells and 590 MW of modules by 2012. Annual turnover is estimated at S$2.5-3 billion.

REC is at the forefront of solar technology innovation and committed to providing Smart energy for a cleaner future. With a vision to become the World's leading provider of highly-competitive solar energy solutions, research and development will be a key component of the Tuas complex's operations.

The Tuas complex will be a model for the efficient use of the clean and inexhaustible energy that the sun has to offer, especially in sunbelt regions such as Singapore. Guests at the official launch -including Guest of Honor, Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Norwegian Ambassador to Singapore, Her Excellency Ms Janne Julsrud and President and CEO, REC Group, Mr. Erik Thorsen - were treated to an innovative presentation of solar energy's power and potential, the history and evolution of solar energy and how REC is playing to driving the solar energy dream in Singapore and around the world.

CEO, REC Group, Mr. Erik Thorsen said, "We believe the future holds unlimited opportunities. Our open-minds, imagination and curiosity prompt us to explore new ideas. We constantly identify and create smarter solutions and processes improvements, inspired by the challenge of making solar competitive. REC aims to play a leading role and be a key contributor in shaping the future of the solar energy industry, a vision that is shared by Singapore and one that will make us powerful partners. Our ambition is profitable growth, at a pace at least in line with the development of the PV solar market. We will achieve this by further expanding capacity across all our businesses, while continuing to pursue ambitious technology development programs and strong focus on cost-reduction initiatives."

Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, who was Guest of Honour at the groundbreaking ceremony said, "Despite the near-term challenges caused by the current financial crisis, the long-term prospects for the global Clean Energy industry remain bright. REC's Phase 1 investment of about S$3 billion is not only one of the largest investments ever made in Singapore, but also one which reflects confidence in the strong fundamentals of our diversified economy."