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Solar firm URE expected to turn profitable in 1Q22

Nuying Huang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: DIGITIMES

Solar cell and PV module maker United Renewable Energy (URE) is expected to see first-quarter 2022 operation swing into operating profitability from consecutive operating losses since second-quarter 2016, according to industry sources.

The turnaround will be the result mainly of URE extending business to investment in establishing rooftop PV systems and power-generating stations using in-house-produced PV modules for steady income streams as well as participation in setting up energy storage systems, the sources said.

URE focuses on production of PERC solar cells, with annual production capacity in Taiwan to be expanded from 1,100MWp at present to 1,350MWp in third-quarter 2022, the sources noted. The additional 250MWp will come from adjustable production lines that can produce solar cells from typical M6 size to the currently largest G12 size, the sources indicated, adding that the capacity will be equivalent to 500MWp if all of it is used to produce G12 cells.

URE has PV module annual production capacity of 1,200MWp in Taiwan, the sources said. URE's factory in Thailand focuses on outsourced production of solar cells and has annual production capacity of 1,800MWp at present, the sources noted. Currently, all production capacities in Taiwan and abroad have been nearly fully utilized.

URE invested in setting up PV power-generating facilities with total installation capacity of 100MWp in 2021 and will invest in another 140MWp in 2022 to reach total installation capacity of 250MWp by year-end 2022, the sources indicated.

For energy storage business, URE mainly provides battery and energy management systems, the sources noted. In 2021, URE partnered with Shihlin Electric & Engineering, France-based lithium battery maker Saft and Underwriter Laboratories (UL) to set up a 15MW energy storage system in southern Taiwan for state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) to provide AFC (automatic frequency control) ancillary services, the sources indicated. The energy storage system is matched with a URE-established PV power-generating station with installation capacity of 150MWp, the sources said.

URE has obtained Taipower's approval to set up a 12MW energy storage system also for AFC ancillary services in 2022, the sources noted. URE has obtained UL 9540 certification and thereby won several EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) projects for energy storage systems, the sources indicated.

URE has 80% of consolidated revenues coming from domestic and overseas production of solar cells and PV modules of which 55% are shipped into the Taiwan market, 10% from investment in PV power generation and 10% from energy storage systems.

Solar cell and PV module makers: Consolidated revenues, March 2022 (NT$m)

Company

March 2022

M/M

Y/Y

1Q22

Q/Q

Y/Y

URE

1,652

6.96%

12.60%

4,682

15.35%

55.82%

TSEC

689.5

16.54%

66.64%

2,006

-10.61%

76.43%

Motech

378.2

38.69%

-19.44%

1,099

-29.67%

-0.85%

Source: Companies, compiled by DIGITIMES, April 2022

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