January 6, 2009 - LG Electronics is readying to launch a new crystalline silicon solar cell production line in Gumi, about 200km southeast of Seoul, South Korea, with 120MW capacity and projected annual output of ~500K solar modules. A second line will follow in 2011, doubling output to 240MW, with an investment of $220M. The operation will be managed by LG's "air conditioning" company, which has a background in managing energy resources and "developing environmentally responsible solutions for homes and businesses," the company noted in a statement.
The company intends "to become a global player in the world's solar industry" by leveraging its experience with mass production and quality control, according to Kwan-shik Cho, VP of LG Electronics' solar business unit, in a statement. "While we recognize this is a crowded playing field, LG has the necessary skills, know-how and business strategy to make this a profitable venture for the long-term."
LG plans to play both sides of the PV cell technology coin. Earlier this summer the company said it achieved an industry milestone with an 11.1% efficient large-area (1.1m x 1.3m) thin-film solar cell.