June 28, 2007 – Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has approved the first cross-strait solar wafer joint venture, with a mainland Chinese solar manufacturer, according to the Taiwan Economic News.
Wafer Works Corp. Taiwan’s No.3 crystal-wafer maker, has a 30% stake and management position in the JV dubbed “Solargiga,” which will produce crystal wafers for solar cells. The company, which produces 4-6in. silicon wafers with SOI, GaAs, SiGe, plus direct-bonded and epi and sapphire substrates, expects to jack its solar wafer output by fivefold to 100 MW/year by the end of 2007 thanks to the JV, and doubling that again in 2008, in a bid to become the mainland’s top supplier. Solargiga’s sales last year were about $131 million, with after-tax profits of about $27 million.
The paper noted that the JV owners are likely to try and take Solargiga public in the US at some point, through probably not until after 2008.
Taiwan’s revenue from solar-cell and module manufacturing topped $300 million in 2006 and is seen quintupling to more than $1.5 billion this year, the paper noted, citing data from the Photonics Industrial Development Association