China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: CSUN) ("China Sunergy" or the "Company"), a specialized solar cell and module manufacturer, today announced that the company has set up a new manufacturing facility in Istanbul, Turkey with local partner Seul Energy Investment Corp ("SEUL Energy"), a leading solar system provider, solar project developer and installer in Turkey.
In September, the two companies signed agreements to invest jointly in three newly established companies under the name "CSUN Eurasia" to produce PV cells and PV modules in Turkey and to invest in downstream solar projects in Turkey and neighboring countries. The first 150 MW solar module line installed in the new facility will begin producing solar panels in January 2013, while 100MW solar cell line is now under installation and will start manufacturing in March 2013. Moreover, company is currently planning to move additional 200MW equipment to Turkey plant from the facilities in Shanghai in the first quarter of 2013 and to gradually ramp up production in the first half of next year, a plan subject to market dynamics and Turkey plant's production progress.
As a major step forward in CSUN's global operations strategy, the new plant, covering more than 22,000 square meters has been set up in facilities in the Trade Free Zone in Istanbul, Turkey, a traditionally symbolic meeting point between Europe and Asia. China Sunergy expects the new plant to create over 1,200 job opportunities locally. The Company expects Turkey to become its second largest manufacturing base after China. The new factory will be able to efficiently serve customers across Europe and even the U.S. CSUN Eurasia expects to hold a grand opening ceremony in Istanbul early next year.
Last July, it was reported that China Sunergy had signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Turkish manufacturing base with another local partner, Akfel Group. However investment negotiations between Akfel Group and China Sunergy (CSUN) has been suspended. Parties aim to jointly pursue regional downstream project opportunities in the future.
Mr. Stephen Cai, CEO of China Sunergy commented, "We are delighted to see our facilities in Turkey established and ready for production. Solar projects in Turkey enjoy higher feed-in tariffs when adopting locally manufactured cells and modules. Therefore, we believe our cooperation with the strong local partner SEUL Energy will help us capture substantial market share in the region."
Mr. Cagri Seymen, CEO of SEUL Energy noted: "Turkey's energy demand has dramatically increased over the past decade, and we believe with one of the highest solar radiation in Europe, Turkey is poised to become the next new solar energy dynamo in the region. Moreover, Turkey's geographical location is ideal as a natural bridge between both North-South and East-West markets. We look forward to being a successful player in this region with China Sunergy both in PV manufacturing and PV power plant investment businesses."
Mr. Stephen Cai, CEO of China Sunergy concluded, "Although the solar industry is still facing headwinds, looking ahead, it possesses great potential as the sun's energy supply is inexhaustible and pollution-free. AlthoughTurkey is a fairly new market, we believe China Sunergy has first mover advantage there and now we have cost competitiveness by deploying resources locally. Diversifying our manufacturing base to Turkey helps enhance our global supply chain and minimize any negative impacts from anti-dumping cases in the US, EU, or elsewhere. We are confident that the Company is well positioned to capture future industry growth for the benefit of our shareholders."