October 25, 2007 (Business Wire) – Charles E. Johnson, Managing Director of Tano China Capital Management, Inc. (TCCMI), announced today the signing of a three-way strategic alliance between its affiliates China Solar Power (Holdings) Ltd. (CSP), Tano China Private Equity Fund II (TCPEF II) and ULVAC Inc. of Japan. The parties signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement in Chigasaki, Japan on October 17, 2007. With the establishment of this strategic alliance, CSP enters the thin film solar module market in China by partnering with ULVAC, a leading manufacturer of thin film solar cell production lines (2.2 billion Yen annual revenue).
Messrs. Charles E. Johnson and Frank Liu, co-founders and Managing Directors of CSP, and their delegation were hosted by Chairman Dr. Kyozu Nakamura, President and CEO Mr. Hidenori Suwa and senior executives of ULVAC.
Mr. Johnson stated at the signing ceremony:
“We are all very excited to have formed this strategic alliance. We have spent the last twelve months evaluating emerging thin film solar technologies, and believe that by partnering with ULVAC, a research and development oriented design and turnkey manufacturer with impeccable credentials, we will quickly be in position to realize our goal of becoming the leading manufacturer of thin film solar modules in China.”
Manny Krakaris, the co-founder of the project, added:
“After an exhaustive review of the PV market and various technologies for manufacturing solar panels, we are convinced that thin film technology will lead the industry’s push to make the cost of solar energy competitive with electricity rates generated from conventional sources. We are very impressed with ULVAC’s amorphous silicon manufacturing technology and are excited to be partnering with ULVAC to help make solar a significant component of the world’s energy mix.”
The goals of the strategic alliance are to both develop CSP into the leading manufacturer of thin film solar modules in China and to enhance ULVAC’s position as a leading provider of thin film photovoltaic (PV) production lines worldwide.
In the second phase of the collaboration, CSP intends to purchase a complete turnkey thin film PV fabrication plant from ULVAC. An extensive search of thin film technologies led CSP to conclude that the world is on the cusp of seeing large-scale, low cost thin film PV manufacturing becoming a profitable growth business. CSP chose this technology and equipment supplier due to ULVAC’s successful track record in the technologically-similar LCD manufacturing industry, and in the PV industry in Japan, where they are the dominant supplier of manufacturing equipment to the world’s largest PV module manufacturers.
CSP plans to build its first plant in Yantai, China to capitalize upon low manufacturing costs, among other benefits, and to establish a presence in what most industry observers expect will become the largest PV market in the world. CSP’s plant, relying upon tandem junction technology, will be among the first and largest of its kind in Asia. The project’s initial two manufacturing lines will initially have a rated annual capacity of 50 MW which is expected to be upgraded to 64 MW within a short time.
This technology’s reliance on abundant, low-cost raw materials, the equipment’s scalability and the manufacturing process’s high yield and reliability will enable CSP to quickly establish a strong position in the worldwide PV module market.
CSP was founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of Tano China Capital Management, Inc. TCCMI is a private equity investment management company focusing on Chinese companies and industries. It is jointly owned by Tano Capital, LLC (Mr. Charles E. Johnson of the U.S.) and an investment group headed by Mr. Chi-Jen Frank Liu of Taiwan.