In the wake of the settlement of the deal for acquiring Sharp in mid-August, Hon Hai announced that Foxconn, its Chinese subsidiary, will invest RMB 800 million in establishing a 100MW PV power plant in Jiangdankou City, Hubei Province. This move is designed to help the solar business division of Sharp penetrate the Chinese market, say market players.
On Aug. 18, Foxconn held a seminar in Shigu township, Jiangdankou City, site of the projected plant, probing details for the project, for which Foxconn has inked an investment agreement and a framework agreement on the needed land with local government. Preparatory and coordination works, now underway, are expected to be completed by September, when the project will break ground.
The project is part of Hon Hai's effort to salvage Sharp’s solar business division via inroads into overseas markets, after it decided to retain the division despite its heavy deficit. Penetration of foreign markets has been widely regarded as the only option for remedying their beleaguered business among Japanese PV companies. Sharp as well has announced to develop PV projects in overseas countries such as Mongolia and Indonesia.
For its part, Hon Hai also has its own investment plans for solar projects in China and India. In line with Apple's sustainability commitment, Foxconn plans to set up 400MW of PV systems in China, of which 80MW has been completed. Meanwhile, Hon Hai has teamed up with SoftBank of Japan and India's Bharti Enterprises in setting up joint venture SBG Clean Tech, which has obtained permit for setting up 350MW of PV projects in India. SBG aims to develop up to 20GW of solar in India over the next 20 years.
Hon Hai has expressed confidence in turning around Sharp’s solar business division by 2017. To achieve the goal, Sharp will also expand outsourcing of production for PV cells and push sales of its “BLACKSOLAR” PV modules in the world market via Hon Hai's sprawling sales-channel network.
(Written by Rhea Tsao, Chief Editor of EnergyTrend, in Chinese; translated by a contracted translator of TrendForce Corp.)