December 10, 2007 – Japanese semiconductor parts supplier Ferrotec and Korean LCD devicemaker Central Micronics are forming a JV to produce controllers, heated parts, quartz crucibles used to make monocrystalline silicon ingots for solar cell manufacturing, according to the Nikkei daily.
Under the deal, the new JV, capitalized at ~63M yen (US $564K) and 51% owned by Central Micronics, will assemble devices at the firm’s plant in Asan, South Chungcheong province, including controllers, heated parts, quartz crucibles and others and used to melt silicon for making monocrystalline silicon ingots, notes the paper. Initial output capacity will be a few units a month, with South Korean sales anticipated to be 3B yen ($26.9M) in three years.
The move is seen as a major expansion into Asia’s biggest markets outside Japan for Ferrotec. The company currently makes about 20 devices/month in China from which it exports a few to Korea, a market where solar demand is seen surging to around 550 devices over the next three years, spurred by government subsidies. Ferrotec’s solar cell business is projected at 4.8B yen ($~43M) in the current fiscal year, with targets to 10B yen ($89.6M) in fiscal 2010 once inroads into Korea are established, according to the Nikkei.