Thalheim/Wolfen, 06.02.2006 - Q-Cells AG, based in Thalheim, Germany, made further progress with its internationalisation strategy. By establishing Q-Cells Asia Limited in Hong Kong at the end of 2005, the world's largest group independent manufacturer of solar cells is strengthening its presence in the strategically important, fastgrowing Asian market. Up to now, Q-Cells has only been represented by a sales and purchasing office in China. Customers in other Asian countries have been covered from Thalheim. The Hong Kong branch has now started as a sales office staffed by two people. The medium-term plan is to organise purchasing and the procurement of raw materials for the Asian market through Q-Cells Asia. The Hong Kong branch is responsible for all of east and south east Asia as well as the Indian subcontinent.
"Q-Cells Asia forms an integral part of our sales strategy", stressed Anton Milner, CEO of Q-Cells AG, at the official opening of the Hong Kong branch. "We plan to substantially increase our export ratio - from 35 per cent at present to over 50 per cent by 2008. Alongside southern Europe and the US, east Asia is one of the most important growth markets for photovoltaics. Our branch will enhance our presence further in this key market." Q-Cells already supplies solar cells to manufacturers of photovoltaic modules in Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India.
With the exception of Japan - a solar energy pioneer - however, the Asian markets are still at an early stage of development. Branch manager Uwe Bauer, who has been covering the Asian market from Germany for the past two years, sees huge potential: "Many Asian governments have realised that in the long term they can only meet their countries' surging demand for energy by using renewables. What's more, photovoltaics is by far the most cost-effective option for electrifying rural areas. This is why countries such as China and India have launched ambitious programmes to promote the use of photovoltaics."
Experts are forecasting stellar growth for the Asian markets over the coming years. A study by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) published in December of last year estimates that the potential of this market will grow from only 100 Megawatt peak (MWp) of newly installed capacity in 2005 to around 700 MWp by 2010. As one of the largest and most innovative producers of solar cells, QCells AG is well placed to benefit from the growth of the Asian market. Its new branch in Hong Kong underlines its intention to do just that.