Hanwha Group, the nation’s 10th-largest conglomerate by assets, is to step up its penetration into the growing Japanese solar power market by establishing its second sales office in Osaka within the month, the company said on Thursday. The group’s first Japanese sales office opened in Fukuoka in 2012.
In August last year, Hanwha Group signed a deal with Japanese trading firm Marubeni to supply solar modules by 2016 that generate about 500 megawatts.
“The group will also set up the first after-sales service center for its photovoltaic cells and solar panels in Japan by the end of this year. These continued investments are aimed at tapping one of the fastest-growing solar energy markets in the world,” said a group official said.
In contrast with sagging global demand for solar power, the Japanese market has been growing fast for the past two years, boosted by the government’s efforts to diversify energy sources following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
Market watchers forecast that Japan would need 6.7 gigawatts of solar power by 2015 and grow to be the second-largest solar power market in the world after China.
Hanwha Group emerged as a global player in the solar power market last year after merging with German solar cell maker Q-Cells.
The deal resulted in the formation of Hanwha Q-Cells, which leads the group’s solar power business as a vertically integrated solar panel manufacturer.
By Seo Jee-yeon (firstname.lastname@example.org)