17 January 2011

OPEL Solar and Ecotech start JV OPEL Solar Asia with 2MW product order

Last month, OPEL Solar Inc in the USA, which makes high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) panels (as well as both roof- and ground-based solar trackers for mounting them), and Ecotech Environmental Technology Ltd formed the joint venture OPEL Solar Asia Ltd (OSA) in Hong Kong.

As a division of Hong Kong-based E&K Holdings Group (which was founded in 1999), Ecotech is a vertically integrated solutions provider spanning product development, system design, manufacturing, assembly & test, project management, installation, commissioning, and after-sales services. The firm has three business units in ‘cleantech’: Energy; LED Lighting; and Solar Applications and Devices.

OPEL says that the JV represents the beginning of a long-term goal to position it to enter East Asia, developing the HCPV market there and moving OPEL Solar’s HCPV technology into what is reckoned to be the world's fastest-growing solar market, with years of strong growth projections ahead.

The mission of OPEL Solar Asia is to market OPEL’s HCPV products throughout East Asia. The primary country targeted for CPV market penetration is China. “According to a recent posting on New Energy World Network, China’s photovoltaic market is one of the largest in the world and has a robust growth projection,” says OPEL Solar Inc’s chief operating officer Frank Middleton. “With Ecotech, OPEL Solar found a well-established partner to advance our business into East Asia,” he adds. “OPEL chose to enter this market with Ecotech because of their profound regional knowledge and client base, with the added advantage that, since Ecotech is established, it serves to minimize our start-up expense.”

Exemplifying the rising demand for HPCV systems in China, the creation of OSA also involves an initial purchase order for 2MW of OPEL Solar’s HCPV system products (both solar modules and tracker models). “These products are expected to fulfill immediate contracts Ecotech has secured within the People’s Republic of China, and it represents a multimillion dollar revenue opportunity for OPEL Solar, which results in revenue during the first year of operations of the JV,” says Middleton.

In addition to the initial 2MW order, a continued strong ordering stream is expected for OPEL Solar Asia. “The establishment of OPEL Solar Asia, with its anticipated order projection, represents significant value growth for OPEL Solar’s stakeholders,” comments OPEL Solar Inc’s CEO Leon M. Pierhal. The burgeoning CPV solar market in East Asia may bring OPEL revenues approaching $100m over the next 4–5 years, he reckons.

“ OPEL Solar has proven technology and a good product for the CPV market in East Asia,” believes Michael Lam, chairman of Ecotech and chairman & CEO of the E&K Holdings Group. “There are challenges ahead, but the chance of capturing market opportunities in this region is very real,” he adds. “We will work hand in hand with OPEL Solar and our strategic partners and customers in China to realize these goals.”

The products shipped for the 2MW order will open the door for local manufacturing by OSA, as Ecotech has an established network of local manufacturers. Once the manufacturing processes attain efficiency, OSA will assume the full manufacturing process to install complete HCPV utility-grade solar farms.

“The decision to pursue a joint venture strategy to enter East Asia is one of the most important decisions we have made to support the rapid growth of the company,” says OPEL Solar's Pierhal, stating that other worldwide joint ventures are in various stages of negotiations for 2011.

Tags: OPEL Solar

Visit: www.ecotech-sz.com.cn

Visit: www.opelinc.com

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