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Motech to become the world’s biggest solar cell maker after merging with UMC subsidiary

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Motech – largest Solar cell Maker

Taiwanese solar cell maker Motech is set to become the world’s largest solar cell maker, after acquiring United Microelectronics subsidiary (UMC) Topcell through a share swap deal. Note, Taiwanese cell industry has been witnessing a consolidation in recent times, after being hit by US sanctions on Taiwanese made solar cells. Many of the smaller companies are looking to move solar cell making equipment abroad to escape the sanctions. Neosolar had recently merged with DelSolar making it one of the three big solar cell makers in Taiwan along with Motech and Gintech.

Read more about Taiwan Solar Cell Industry here.

Motech has been facing losses like Topcell in recent months due to US sanctions, which has forced these companies to sharply reduce solar cell prices by 10-20% leading to a sharp fall in margins. UMC probably decided that the solar industry is probably not its cup of tea after a number of years of bad performance. Most of the larger technology companies such as LG, Samsung, UMC and others have not done too well in the solar industry. Some of the big companies such as Siemens, Bosch and others have completely left the solar industry after finding it too hard to compete with the low cost Chinese players such as Trina Solar, Yingli and others.

Motech will now have both UMC and TSMC as major shareholders, with UMC holding 9% and TSMC holding 20% of the company. Motech is the oldest major Taiwense solar cell maker. It has been expanding into wafer, poly and module production but not aggressively with its core operations continuing to be solar cell production.

Motech will now have 3 GW of cell capacity after the merger with Topcell. I don’t think it’s an expensive acquisition for Motech, given that it is increasing its capacity by almost 50% by diluting just 10% of its shares. It will give the company additional capacity for no cash down. Even though the company is making losses now, the global demand for solar cells continues to increase with demand in 2015 expected to increase to 50 GW from around 45 GW now. USA accounts for 10% of the production globally, so Taiwanese solar cells still have 90% of the market that they can target.


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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