Solar

Korea firm making US inroads into PV

Korean leather supplier Uni-Chem Co. Ltd. is staking a claim to the US solar market, with the apparent purchase of an idle semiconductor plant and >100MW in new cell/module lines.

October 1, 2009 – Korean leather supplier Uni-Chem Co. Ltd. is planning to make a splash in the US solar market, with the apparent purchase of an idle semiconductor plant and >100MW in new cell/module lines.

The domestic leather supplier reportedly wants to buy Hynix Semiconductor’s shuttered DRAM memory facility in Oregon — which was closed last year, deemed too expensive to upgrade — and turn it into a PV production site. Uni-Chem reportedly would plunk down $50M for the facility, but apparently is still accumulating the financing.

The other piece to this puzzle is that the company also has formed a US entity, with the purchase of a 51% stake in Spire Corp.’s system integration business. It also has spent $60M for two production lines from Spire: a 60MW turnkey cell line, and a 50MW module line, plus utilities and infrastructure support. Housed in, and leased out of Spire’s Hudson, NH facility, the lines are slated to come online in 2H10.

“We believe their cell and module manufacturing will position them to participate in the US solar market,” stated Spire CEO Roger G. Little