Hanhwa Q Cells & Advanced Materials Corp. (here referred as Q CELLS) and IBK Asset Management Co. Ltd. (here referred as IBK) are reported to have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop solar projects in South Korea and abroad. The signing ceremony took place in Seoul on June 27.
According to reports from the media, the memorandum outlines 500 gigawatts’ worth of projects to be jointly developed within the next two years. The two parties will first collaborate on projects that are under development or in the pipeline in South Korea before setting up joint ventures in overseas markets such as North America and Europe.
The agreement allows Q CELLS and IBK to maximize their synergistic potential by playing to their respective strengths. Q CELLS will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of solar projects as well as their follow-up operation and maintenance. IBK, on the other hand, will be focusing on project financing. Having a stake in every project co-developed with Q CELLS, IBK will be raising funds directly or indirectly from the equity market, banking institutions, and policy institutions. In addition, both parties will be exploring new opportunities in the global solar market. For example, a plan that is reportedly under discussion involves the establishment of a consulting business that assists in project feasibility evaluation, project site certification, legal consultation, and company analysis.
Regarding the agreement, Suk-jung Shi, CEO of IBK, is reported to have said that his organization has been proactively searching for investment opportunities in the renewable energy industries due to the launching of energy transition policies by governments worldwide. At the same time, IBK is also striving to further diversify its portfolio and capture new sources of profits. According to Shi, IBK looks forward to expand its collaboration with Q CELLS, which has been widely recognized as a leading manufacturer of photovoltaic cells and other components for photovoltaic generation systems. Both parties are expected to work closely together to maximize the synergy effect of this strategic alliance. Shi added that experts from IBK Financial Group, which is the parent company of IBK Asset Management, will also be available for assistance when needed.
Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim, CEO of Q CELLS, also made a public statement on the memorandum. Kim said that Q CELLS is eagerly waiting to prove itself as a reliable partner of IBK. Kim further noted that Q CELLS is not only a major producer of cells and system components but also a well-established player in the EPC market with over 1.6 gigawatts’ worth of experience under its belt. Many of its projects are located in the US and European countries.
On the day of the memorandum signing, Q CELLS, IBK, and Tongyang Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (here referred as Tongyang) also jointly announced that they will be creating a mega fund of 100 billion won to invest in the development of solar projects in South Korea. Part of this fund is expected to be used to assist Q CELLS in expanding its solar business in the country. Tongyang is recently known for making big moves in the alternative investment market, according to an expert in this area. The insurer is especially interested in the energy sector.
This article is an English translation of a Chinese report that draws information from various news outlets.