SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Yonhap) -- Hanwha Solutions Corp., a chemical and energy unit of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, said Thursday it is acquiring a major stake in a Norwegian polysilicon producer in an effort to secure a stable supply of solar cell materials.
Hanwha Solutions will acquire a 16.67 percent stake in REC Silicon ASA for US$160.47 million, which will have the South Korean company hold an equal share with the largest shareholder, Aker Horizons, a Norwegian renewable energy firm, according to Hanwha. The equity purchase is set for Jan. 14.
REC Silicon has two polysilicon plants in the United States. This will help Hanwha Solutions secure a stable supply of key materials used in solar cell manufacturing in America, Hanwha said.
Polysilicon is a high-purity form of silicon and a key component in solar photovoltaic production. REC Silicon's U.S. plants have an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons.
Hanwha Solutions said that it is considering additional investment in U.S. solar photovoltaics business, on top of its existing solar module factory in Georgia.
Hanwha Solutions also plans to spend 1.5 trillion won ($1.27 billion) by 2025 to expand its domestic solar module production lines and for research and development in the next-generation high-efficiency solar cells, it added.