World energy giant BP Group, through its subsidiary BP Solar, and China Xinjiang SunOasis Co., a leading solar system integrator in China, signed a joint venture agreement on Thursday to develop a solar energy manufacturing facility in China.
The joint venture will result in the creation of two companies: BP SunOasis Company Limited and BP SunOasis (Prime) Company Limited, which together will manufacture, market and sell solar energy products and systems in China.
Based in Xi'an, capital of west China's Shaanxi Province, the joint venture will have a 25-megawatt manufacturing capacity. It has a total registered capital of over US$10 million and the equity percentage split between SunOasis and BP Solar is 51 to 49, according to BP.
The joint venture represents an excellent opportunity for BP Solar to position itself and grow in the growing solar energy market by expanding its manufacturing network.
According to BP, the joint venture will focus on providing access to sustainable power in remote rural areas throughout China, as well as the developing grid-connect market.
China plans to increase domestic solar energy generation to 400MW by 2010, and to 10,000 MW by 2020, from a 2005 base of 20MW.
Lee Edwards, CEO of BP Solar, said that it is a great strategic opportunity for SunOasis and BP Solar, both of which share a common vision for the long-term solar potential in China.
The joint venture will add to BP Solar's already strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.
As one of the world's largest oil, gas and petrochemical companies, BP has been operating in China since the early 1970s and has invested over US$3 billion in country.
To date, some of BP's activities in China include the production and importation of natural gas, supply of aviation fuel, import and marketing of liquefied petroleum gas, fuel retailing, lubricants blending and sales, petrochemical manufacturing and solar electric facilities.
SunOasis is the leading solar system integrator in China with an approximately 25 to 30 percent share of the Chinese market.
It was founded in 2000, and is a private limited company located in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Its largest shareholder, Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co., Ltd is a publicly listed company and one of the largest manufacturers of transformers in the world.
(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2005)