Sojitz Pla-Net and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Receive Order for Photovoltaic Power Generation System from South Korea-based Company
Expansion of global environmentally friendly new energy business
Aug. 4, 2008
Sojitz Pla-Net Corporation (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Hideaki Kato), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sojitz Corporation that handles synthetic resin products, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Hideaki Omiya) have jointly received an order for solar panels, which are at the core of photovoltaic power generation systems, from Taihan Techren Co., Ltd. (Head office: Seoul, South Korea), a photovoltaic power generation system integrator in South Korea. Together with an order for inverters, for which a contract will be signed separately by Sojitz Pla-Net, the order will amount to approximately 1.5 billion yen.
The subject order was placed for Mitsubishi thin-film solar modules, of which two types will be delivered; an amorphous type and the latest, highly-efficient, microcrystalline tandem type. The amount of silicon used in the type of thin-film solar modules to be delivered has been reduced to about one hundredth of that used in currently available crystalline solar modules. Thin-film solar modules use less energy during the manufacturing process and have larger carbon dioxide emission reduction effects, and are therefore drawing attention as the environmentally-friendly next generation solar module.
In addition to receiving the subject order for thin-film solar modules, Sojitz Pla-Net also received an order for inverters to be used to change the direct current generated in the solar modules into alternating current. Sojitz Pla-Net will deliver highly efficient, high capacity inverter products manufactured by power supply manufacturer Sansha Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Head office: Higashi-Yodogawa, Osaka; President: Kunio Shikata).
Taihan Techren is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Taihan Electric Wire Co., Ltd., the second largest cable and wire manufacturer in South Korea, and is engaged in engineering projects such as the design and construction of photovoltaic power generation systems. The photovoltaic power generation system to be delivered is for a 3MW photovoltaic power plant, which is scheduled for construction in Yeongju, Gyeongbuk. It will be the largest project in South Korea for a thin-film, photovoltaic power plant. Construction of the plant is scheduled for completion at the end of September 2008, with power generation planned to start in October.
The introduction of photovoltaic power generation is being promoted in South Korea through the provision of subsidies to photovoltaic power generation operators, based on the feed-in tariff system. The government has hammered out a policy to subsidize the cost for an increased cumulative total installed capacity up to 500MW in the coming three years. Both power companies and newcomers, such as investment management companies and gas companies, are entering the market. With the increase in photovoltaic power generation operations in South Korea, the market scale for solar modules is expected to reach 100 billion yen in 2010.
Sojitz Pla-Net aggressively undertakes operations in Europe and South Korea, where preferential treatment is given for natural energy power generation. The company positions Taihan Techren as its business partner in the South Korean market, and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the area of photovoltaic power generation business. By utilizing the comprehensive capabilities of the Sojitz Group, Sojitz Pla-Net continues to expand its photovoltaic power generation business.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries undertakes the development and manufacture of both amorphous type and microcrystalline tandem type solar modules, which it has been marketing mainly in European markets such as Germany. The company is operating at full capacity, riding on the strength of the recent expansion in demand. MHI is therefore moving fast to construct a framework to increase production, and plans to continue its aggressive approach to the expanding markets.