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Anwell in deal to sell solar panel equipment

OPTICAL disc and disc equipment manufacturer Anwell Technologies has signed a preliminary agreement with Brazil Energy for the sale of its new thin-film solar panel equipment.

Anwell will deliver its Sunlite-120 production line to Brazil Energy, which will use the equipment to produce thin-film solar panels. The turnkey solar equipment has an initial capacity of 40 MWp (megawatt peak) per year.

The price and delivery dates of the equipment have yet to be finalised.

Separately, Anwell's subsidary, Sungen, will sell up to 5 MW of thin-film silicon solar panels to Brazil Energy in 2009, with deliveries starting in the first quarter.

In a bid to diversify its business, Anwell has been looking to leverage on its existing technology as a supplier of blank optical (CD-R and DVD-R) discs and disc production equipment to tap into related industries such as solar energy panels and OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) displays.

'Our core technologies and experience in the optical disc industry have allowed us to make huge steps in our development in the solar industry,' said Mr Franky Fan, executive chairman and chief executive of Anwell.

'The fact that global players such as Brazil Energy have shown the intent to purchase the equipment at this stage, highlights the confidence that they have in our technologies.'

Anwell began work on its own solar panel production line in 2007. The line is now 80 per cent ready and is expected to be completed by Q3 this year.

Once complete, the line will be shifted to Anwell's factory in Henan, China, to begin production of the thin-film solar panels. The facility will have an initial capacity of 40 MWp, to be ramped up to 120MWp by the end of 2009.

Anwell believes that producing both solar panels and solar panel equipment in a vertically integrated supply chain will allow it to better penetrate the global solar market.

'Having an integrated business model ensures that Anwell has the most cost-effective production process. This gives the group a strong cost leadership position over its global peers,' said Mr Fan.

He was upbeat about the future of solar energy and Anwell's prospects, in the light of high oil prices.

Shares of Anwell rose 2.5 cents to close at $0.08 yesterday.