AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today announced its decision, approved by its Board of Directors on January 29th, to subscribe new shares to be issued by M.Setek for seizing the highly-growing Solar market opportunities and accelerating establishment of key material capacity. AUO will invest ￥15 billion to strengthen its strategic position in solar value chain.
Being a major supplier to renowned solar cell companies around the world, M.Setek's leading technology realizes high conversion rate of polysilicon wafers for solar cells. M.Setek is one of the few global suppliers which could provide high quality and high-efficient solar wafer. For strengthening its strategic position in Solar value chain, AUO decided to subscribe new shares to be issued by M.Setek for further expanding the capacity and enhancing financial healthiness. Meanwhile, AUO will provide the experiences of flexible reactions to the fast changing industry and its management resources. The investment will help M.Seteck to perform better in operation, sales, and finance, and will be able to develop Japan and overseas market. After the cash investment to its operation, M.Setek's construction of the second fab in Soma will be completed. The capacity of polysilicon will be significantly increased from 3,000 tons to 7,000 tons. This will be the best support for AUO to expand its solar business aggressively.
AUO has actively invested in solar business and planned for both solar upstream and downstream value chains. AUO has shipped its solar modules to Europe since June 2009. The first solar park project in Hungen city, German was also on-grid by end of 2009. The 3MWp solar-power plant using AUO's PV modules can supply electricity for 800 households. In addition to establishing a Reliability Lab for PV module's quality assurance, AUO is building a module production line in Taichung and the line will be ramped up in Q1 2010. AUO is also recruiting a large number of R&D talents for the energy business and plans to build up the first solar business operation base in China. With the strategy of providing the total solution, AUO will cooperate with the partners in the industrial value chain to develop the solar market globally.