Manufacturing News

UMC Invests in Solar Energy and LED Projects in China

United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) is reportedly planning to build a solar-power plant in Rushan City in Weihai, a prefecture-level city in Shandong Province, China, after applying for permission from Jining City to invest in the solar and LED business.

Insiders say the UMC will invest around NT$10 billion (about US$315 million) in eight solar and LED investment projects in the Jining industry park, and around 398 million Chinese yuan (about US$58 million) into the Rushan project.

UMC chairman Stan Hung reportedly has visited Shandong, after being invited by the Rushan government, to inspect the site several times in the second half of 2009.

The company has started planning to build a solar-power plant designed to produce 12 million KW annually using thin-film solar cells in the city, the first of its kind in Shandong once it is completed.

Perfectly timed with the amendment to a renewable energy act by China's National People's Congress be effective by April 1, 2010, the investors are building a plant that will produce renewable energy to be fully procured by the Chinese government, as long as the plant conforms to such act.

Beijing aims to make renewable energy 10% of the nation's total electricity consumption by 2010 and 15% by 2020, a loft goal considering China currently depends on coal for two-thirds of its electricity, hence a major producer of CO2 emissions.

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