Norwegian Firm to Build World’s Largest Solar Manufacturing Complex in Singapore

The manufacturing complex will be developed in stages, to incorporate wafer, cell and module production facilities and will have the potential of becoming the world’s largest complex of its kind. It is expected to start production of wafers, cells and modules used to generate solar power by 2010.
    The plant will be able to produce products that can generate up to 1.5 gigawatts (Gw) of energy annually. That is enough to power several million households at any one time. The current largest plant in the world, also run by REC in Norway, has a capacity of 650 megawatts (Mw).
    “The project will be a ‘queen bee’ to attract a hive of solar activities to Singapore – big companies and young start-ups engaged in research and development, manufacturing and innovation, as well as the supplier ecosystem,'” said Ko Kheng Hwa, managing director of the Economic Development Board (EDB), which signed the deal with REC on October 25, 2007.
    REC president and chief executive officer Erik Thorsen said the decision on Singapore was made after a comprehensive 9 months’ process involving screening of more than 200 possible locations, followed by due diligence of close to 20 of them and finally negotiations with a handful of sites.
    For REC, Singapore represents the ideal balance between financial return, risks and future opportunities.
    “The development of this site will enable us to continue expanding in a cost efficient manner and will support REC’s ambitious cost target. Our future cost position will determine our ability to deliver solar products that can compete with traditional energy sources in the sunny areas of the world without government incentives”, says Erik Thorsen.
    The green field site for this new manufacturing complex is located in Tuas View, approximately 30 minutes from the city centre in the western part of Singapore and about 3,000 jobs, including 2,000 for skilled staff, will be created at the plant.

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