REC ASA Chooses Singapore For New Manufacturing Complex

October 30, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Renewable Energy Corp. (REC) announced that it has decided to establish its new world scale solar manufacturing complex in Singapore and has simultaneously signed an agreement with the Singaporean government agency Economic Development Board (EDB). The agreement outlines both the terms and conditions related to the development of a new production site, the process of establishing a manufacturing complex, as well as operational and commercial conditions.

The decision on Singapore was made after a comprehensive 9 month 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. REC has finalized with EDB a comprehensive support package, including incentives and grants, in the areas of tax, R&D and process improvement, as well as human resources recruitment and training. REC, claims that 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", stated Erik Thorsen, the President & CEO of REC.

The project concept is finalized and pre-engineering activities have commenced. The total development will be organized in several stages through a series of interdependent projects. The initial investment decision is expected to take place as soon as the pre-engineering activities for the first phase have been completed some time during first half of 2008.

In addition to the wafer, cell and module production, the manufacturing complex will incorporate infrastructure and support facilities, as well as an on-site supplier park. Sufficient space has also been reserved for future R&D activities and possible manufacturing facilities based on potential new technologies. The site can hold a capacity of up to 1.5GW within each product area, although it is not likely that the production capacity for wafer, cells and modules will be fully balanced.

Depending on the final capacity and site development, total investments in the Singapore site may exceed €3 billion within the next 5 years and the total number of employees could be around 3000 people.