United PV to spend 10b yuan to triple solar farm capacity

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 1:20am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 4:35am

United Photovoltaics, a mainland solar-farm operator, says it plans to invest 10 billion yuan (HK$12.4 billion) this year to almost triple its solar power plant capacity.

It will buy 1 gigawatt of plants, chief financial officer Li Hong said in Shenzhen on Monday. It currently operates 531.7 megawatts of solar projects and the acquisitions may also include 100MW of projects overseas.

United Photovoltaics is increasing spending on solar farms as worsening air pollution adds to pressure on the central government to declare war on smog, spurring demand for renewable energy.

Its biggest shareholder, China Merchants New Energy, last month bought 13.6 million shares and increased its stake to 13.4 per cent.

About 20 per cent of the investment would come from its "own capital", Li said.

The company had about 500 million yuan in cash and would use loans to supplement the spending, he said.

The company said on April 16 that it had secured a finance lease of at least 10 billion yuan from China Financial Leasing. China Merchants Group, the parent of China Merchants New Energy, might provide further capital to its subsidiary to help raise funds for the expansion, he said.

United Photovoltaics' stock rose as much as 33 per cent, the most since September 28, 2007, before closing 15.6 per cent ahead at 59 HK cents.

The company agreed last month to buy equity interests in 300 solar power projects to be developed by Yingli Green Energy over the next three years.

The projects would be in provinces including Hebei, Guangxi, Shanxi and Shandong, Yingli said.