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Korean Solar Energy Set to Explode due to the Greenest Government and Chaebols Hanwha,Hyundai,Posco,Samsung,LG

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The South Korean Government is the Greenest government in the world without a doubt.The Korean government not only implement the biggest green stimulus but has also heavily promoted the use of Green Industry in Korea and amongst its industries.As a result South Korean Chaebols like Samsung,LG,Hanwha,Hyundai are making massive investments into Wind,Solar,Tidal,Nuclear Energy and Elective Vehicles,Batteries etc.A common theme running across these companies is their strong investments into the crystalline silicon solar supply chain.Hanwha has already become one of the biggest manufacturers of solar panels in the world by acquiring Chinese producer Solarfun while OCI Chemicals is set to become the biggest producer of polysilicon in the world.South Korea has also one of the most generous Solar Feed in Tariff Programs in the world to encourage solar panel installation in the country.While the subsidy ran into a hiccup,Korean Solar Energy is set to grow again as the government pushes Solar Energy Strongly.Here are a list of the major Korean Solar Companies.

1) OCI Chemical - This Korean chemicals company has seen the most spectacular rise in the poly business and has ambitions of becoming the No.1 player in 2012 overtaking both Wacker and Hemlock.Primarily targeting the solar market,the Korean company has plans of reaching 62,000 tons of polysilicon capacity at its plant in South Korea.Formerly known as DC Chemicals it started production only 3-4 years ago in partnership with Sunpower.

2) Hyundai Heavy Industries - South Korea’s Hyundai Industries which is known more for its cars,is also making a big push into the Green Energy Space.Like its South Korean peers,Hyundai is also preferring to enter this space through Solar Energy.Hyundai has already established a 320 MW cell capacity which it plans to double to 600 MW by early 2011 which would make it the largest South Korean manufacturer.Hyundai had earlier bought solar cell equipment from Germany’s  Centrotherm as far back as 2008 and had entered a  long term contract with LDK Solar for buying solar wafers as raw material  for its cell lines.Its sister company KCC has started a 6000 ton polysilicon plant in South Korea.It is in negotiations with the Hungarian government to set up a manufacturing base in that country to serve the European markets.It is also targeting the US market with partnerships with companies like Raser Technology and Matinee Energy.It is also planning to set up a 240 MW solar power plant in partnership with Matinee Energy and LG.

3) LG -  Korean Electronics Giant has also firmed up its plan in the Solar Energy Space.It is already selling solar modules in the South Korean and European markets and plans to have a 240 MW capacity by 2010 end .This will be rapidly expanded to a Gigawatt capacity by 2012.

4) Samsung -  Semiconductor and Electronics Giant Samsung is entering into production of polysilicon setting up a 10,000 ton plant in an equal JV with US Poly Producer MEMC.The plant will be set up in South Korea and will go onstream by 2013.Samsung had recently started production solar crystalline silicon solar panels which uses polysilicon as raw material.Samsung has made major plans to enter the Green Industry in a big way.It has signed a multi billion investment contract to build a huge offshore wind farm off Ontario and also plans to build solar plants.

5) POSCO - Posco,one of world’s largest steel producers has been trying to enter the solar market like its other Korean brethren.osco’s energy unit is planning to set up a massive 300 MW Solar Plant in the USA alongwith a US Developer Sustainable Energy Capital Partners (SECP),.Note LG had earlier also said that it was planning to set up a huge solar plant in the USA.

6) Hanwha Chemicals – South Korean Conglomerate Hanwha subsidiary Hanwha Chemicals took a controlling 49.99% stake in  Solarfun .Solarfun is the 4th largest Chinese company which has been executing well on a vertical integration strategy.The company has 900 MW of module capacity with ~400-500 MW of wafer and cell capacity.Hanwha is also expanding into the polysilicon and system integration business.

7) Nexolon – The company is based out of South Korea and is closely associated with the polysilicon giant OCI Chemcials.The company is primarily counting on the growth of South Korean companies like LG,Hanwha,Samsung for its growth.The company is involved in making solar wafers.

Summary

China has led the solar industry in the last few years taking over the mantle from Japanese and European companies.Taiwanese companies too have had spectacular success in the solar cell manufacturing sector.Now the Korean are entering the solar industry in a massive way.The Korean Chaebols have massive technological strengths and balance sheets.They are certain to become big players in the Solar Industry area and OCI Chemicals is all set to become the No.2 Polysilicon Producer in the world if not N0.1 showing the way for other Korean Solar Companies.

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Abhishek Shah

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