European solar equipment heavyweight may site R&D lab in Taiwan or Singapore
Nov 23, 2007
Taiwanese insiders of the photovoltaic industry have recently reported that a leading European supplier of solar-cell manufacturing equipment is studying the feasibility of setting up its Asian research and development center in Taiwan or Singapore.
They say the investment will cost around 60 million Swiss franc (US$55 million at US$1:1.09 CHF) and will be finalized in December at the earliest.
J.H. Wang, former president of Quanta Computer Inc., is reportedly the key figure making the European supplier take Taiwan into consideration as a site for the R & D center.
Some Taiwanese industry watchers fear that the European equipment supplier would do the same as done by REC in choosing location for its Asian factory. Norwegian polycrystalline-silicon supplier REC recently chose Singapore over Taiwan as the location for its Asian factory after assessing Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
The European supplier specializes in plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) machines for making thin-film solar cells.
People familiar with the investment deal pointed out that the European supplier's chief executive officer plans to build the R&D facility in Asia in consideration of the well developed thin-film solar cell industry in the region.
Taiwanese insiders pointed out the European company's survey mission had recently left Taiwan for other locations on its assessment list.
Industry watchers in Taiwan pointed out that Taiwanese solar-energy industry has developed well in its middle-stream and down-stream segments and the European equipment supplier should open the facility in Taiwan so that it can get close to customers.
Some industry watchers suggest Taiwan government offer more lucrative incentives this time than last time when it managed to convince REC to put its Asian factory in Taiwan so that the European equipment supplier can become willing to open the R&D facility in Taiwan.
source & copyright: CENS