Hanwha Group has recently established a branch in Turkey in what was seen as a move to grab one of the world’s fastest-growing solar power markets.
Hanwha Chemical, responsible for managing the energy unit, said a Turkish branch of Hanwha Q Cells was recently set up. This unit is searching for business opportunities involving installing and distributing solar energy tools and solutions.
“Things are still in the early stages but we are seeing a lot of potential in Turkey,” a Hanwha Chemical official said.
|Hanwha Q-Cells CEO Kim Hee-cheul (Yonhap)|
Encouraged by an improving business performance, the country’s ninth-largest conglomerate by assets has been putting a bigger emphasis on solar power ― a field hailed as the next frontier in global business.
Turkey fits perfectly into this scheme, Hanwha officials said, as the nation has emerged as a goldmine. Thanks to an abundant amount of daylight, the country is thought to be capable of producing an average of 1,311 kilowatt-hours of electricity per square meter a year.
|Hanwha Q Cells’ 10.86 MW solar power plant in Maywood, Indiana. (Hanwha Chemical)|
This year alone, Turkey’s solar energy production is expected to reach 500 megawatts, up from 50 MW in 2013.
This was the driving factor for global consulting firm HIS to name Turkey as the second-most attractive solar market in the world following South Africa.
Hanwha Q Cells CEO Kim Hee-cheul likewise picked Turkey and Chile as the two countries the firm would target for partnerships.
Such plans received a boost from Hanwha headquarters after Hanwha Chemical on May 14 posted a business surplus for the first time in more than three years.
The company reported 83 billion won in operating profit for the first quarter of 2014, which is the first surplus since Hanwha jumped into the solar power business in August 2010 by acquiring Chinese company SolarOne. The company merged with German company Q Cells in 2012.
The management at Q Cells and SolarOne, together with Kim Dong-kwan ― the marketing director of Q Cells and eldest son of Hanwha chairman Kim Seung-youn ― are expected to attend Intersolar Europe, the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry, in Munich on June 4-6, to tap the European market.
“The relatively rapid turnaround in solar power investment is very promising and made the company stay upbeat about its vision to put all the chips on the solar power business,” an industry watcher said.
“With the U.S., Japan and Chinese governments supporting the solar power generation and others vying to join the trend, the company is expected to remain profitable for a while.”
By Bae Ji-sook (email@example.com)