MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea’s Hanwha Solutions Corp., Hanwha Group’s energy services arm, is entering into a sizeable co-investment to strengthen its solar power business, said Kedglobal.
The company’s chemical division and Korea’s GS Energy Corp. have agreed to launch a joint venture to produce ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) at Yeosu Industrial Complex, South Jeolla Province, Hanwha Solutions said on Wednesday. Solar EVA sheets are a core part of solar power panels for enhancing durability and performance. Hanwha Solutions’ chemical division produces EVA for the sheets that the company’s advanced materials unit makes.
The 590 billion won (USD425.8 million) JV, named H&G Chemical, is aiming to start producing the material in September 2025, with an annual capacity of up to 300,000 tons. In line with the expansion of EVA production, Hanwha Solutions’ advanced material unit will invest 41.7 billion won to increase its sheet manufacturing facilities in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province.
Once the JV starts production in 2025, Hanwha Solutions will become the world’s largest EVA manufacturer with 920,000 tons of annual production, exceeding US energy giant Exxon Mobil's 790,000 tons, Hanwha said. The global EVA market reached 4.4 million tons last year. The market will show a 5.6% compound annual growth rate with soaring demand from governments and corporates aiming for net zero, Hanwha Solutions said.
Hanwha Q Cells, a photovoltaic solar cell-making unit within Hanwha Solutions, will also invest 130 billion won in facilities to manufacture tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cells and modules at its plant in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province.
TOPCon enhances power generation efficiency by 1% in absolute value terms by inserting thin oxide film in the solar cells. Q Cells will also upgrade its M6 wafer production line to M10 for increased power of the TOPCon modules, Hanwha Solutions added.
The investments are a move to gain the upper hand in the global renewables market as well as secure the production capabilities for high-powered solar cells in Korea, a Hanwha Solutions official said. The 50-year history of Hanwha Solutions’ material production and GS Energy’s competitive raw materials will grow the JV into a world-renowned EVA maker, the official said.
We remind, Hanwha Solutions plans to increase its caustic soda, chlorine and ethylene dichloride (EDC) capacity annually at its Yeosu facility in South Korea. Hanwha Solutions currently produces 840,000 tonnes of caustic soda per year and is the No. 1 company in the CA field in Korea. Caustic soda is a raw material necessary for cleaning, smelting, and bleaching of industrial materials such as metals, and it is essential to remove impurities in the cathode material production process, which is a core material for secondary batteries.