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Korean Solar sees Consolidation around 2 Players

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OCI & Hanwha to remain the serious Contenders

Major Korean conglomerates such as Samung, Hyundai and Hanwha had made massive investments in renewable energy Solar Panelsspurred on by the Korean government. These companies had gone into manufacturing components using the crystalline solar technology. Samsung and Hyundai solar panels were being sold in different countries using the extensive global distribution networks of these companies. However, the major solar down cycle has reduced the enthusiasm of most of these companies.

Hyundai, had earlier closed two of its plants due to a lack of profitability. Other firms without major solar operations like LG and Samsung are too going very slow in their solar expansion plans. Samsung SDI which was supposed to be the sword arm of the giant’s group green energy expansion (LINK) is now trying to sell its solar cell equipment. However, given the state of the solar market it will be tough to get a decent price. LDK Solar recently sold its solar cell plant for 10 cents to the dollar.

Read on GWI how Korean Solar Energy Set to Explode due to the Greenest Government and Chaebols Hanwha, Hyundai, Posco, Samsung, LG.

Solar equipment firms are having a tough time competing with their second hand equipment as companies like Samsung try to get out of the business by selling the equipment for whatever they can get. Only OCI and Hanwha remain the serious Korean players in the solar business. Others have folded up given the lack of profits and growth opportunities. Both are becoming vertically integrated from poly manufacturing to system installation. OCI recently started a big operation in the US and plans to set up more than 400 MW of solar plants in Texas. Hanwha too has been acquiring distressed assets like Solarfun and Q-Cells to become a top 5 module player in the world. These 2 companies should be the best positioned to survive the downturn and thrive, once profitability returns to the industry with the exit of the weaker/ less committed companies.

Also read on GWI How South Korean Solar Panel Producers are taking the fight to the Chinese with Pricing, Brand and Distribution Power.

LG Siltron has given up on the production of solar wafer while Hyundai Heavy Industries has sold all of its shares of polysilicon firm Korea Advanced Materials. In addition, Samsung SDI is considering selling its solar cell equipment sets, said Digitimes Research. Polysilicon firm OCI has set up two solar firms to manufacture solar PV systems in October 2012. Nexolon, which mainly produces silicon ingots and solar wafers, has begun to construct solar cell and module plants. Hanwha has completed the construction of its polysilicon firm and has officially set up an integrated supply chain from polysilicon to solar modules.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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