Press Releases

<< Back
Suntech Announces Strategic Investment in Shunda and 7GW Wafer Supply Agreement

Suntech Increases Total Silicon Secured in 2009 to Over 800MW

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, May 27 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), one of the world's leading manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, today announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Shunda Holdings Co. Ltd, a manufacturer of solar wafers based in China, from Actis, a leading private equity investor in emerging markets, and Waichun Investment Fund, for a total consideration of $98.9 million.

Suntech also announced that a definitive thirteen-year silicon wafer supply agreement has been signed with a subsidiary of Shunda Holdings Co. Ltd. Under the terms of the supply agreement, Shunda will supply Suntech specified annual volumes of silicon wafers with a total volume of approximately 7GW from 2008 to 2020.

Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO, said: "This strategic investment and long term supply agreement will be instrumental in the profitable and rapid growth of both Suntech and Shunda. This is another example of how we can leverage funds raised through our recent convertible notes offering to pursue strategic investments and high volume contracts that strengthen the long term cost structure of our business model. We believe that these transactions accelerate Suntech's path to grid parity and significantly enhance Suntech's long term cost competitiveness through better pricing and volume allocations. The multi-year commitment to purchase silicon similarly provides Shunda with the security and visibility to focus on expanding a world-class polysilicon plant."

Shunda produces silicon ingots and wafers and currently supplies a number of major producers of PV crystalline cells and modules. Shunda is in the final stages of building a world-class polysilicon plant in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China with a first phase capacity of 1,500 metric tons. Shunda intends to initiate production of solar grade polysilicon in the third quarter of 2008. The polysilicon plant will utilize the advanced Siemens production process, with a closed-loop recycling system, and employ equipment and engineering services from industry leading vendors including GT Solar Incorporated.

Dr. Shi remarked, "Located in our home province of Jiangsu, Shunda's proximity to Suntech will enhance the synergies that we can achieve by integrating polysilicon refinement right through to the manufacture of premium quality solar modules. Shunda's clear commitment to maintaining the highest environmental standards in the production of polysilicon was another key factor considered in the lead up to this partnership. We look forward to building a close and mutually supportive relationship with Shunda."

Mr. Yunda Ni, Shunda's CEO said, "We are delighted to enter this partnership with Suntech, a world leader in the solar industry. This long term contract will provide a stable foundation for Shunda to expand our polysilicon and wafer production facilities and help establish Shunda as a premier manufacturer of both polysilicon and silicon wafers. Our polysilicon plant is designed to employ proven technology and production techniques in order to achieve the highest standards of clean manufacturing. We look forward to making a growing contribution to the development of the solar industry."

Commenting on Suntech's improved silicon outlook, Dr. Shi continued, "The relatively small quantities of silicon wafers to be supplied in 2008 from Shunda will replace some of our higher-priced spot market silicon and will make an important contribution towards the completion of our 2008 production target of 530MW. With this long-term agreement, we are able to increase our silicon secured for 2009 by 50MW to 800MW of silicon with an average cost more than 20% below our average cost of silicon in 2007."

About Actis

Actis is a leading private equity investor in emerging markets. To date it has US$6.8bn of funds raised and significant investments in Africa, China, India, Latin America, South and South East Asia. Actis has over 120 investment professionals on the ground in 14 offices worldwide and has been investing exclusively in the emerging markets for 60 years.

About Shunda

Founded in 2003, Shunda has rapidly grown to become one of China's leading producers of mono-crystalline silicon ingots and wafers. Shunda is in the advanced stages of developing a world-class polysilicon plant in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province China with a first phase capacity of 1,500 metric tons.

About Suntech

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. is a world leading solar energy company as measured by both production output and capacity of solar cells and modules. Suntech is passionate about improving the environment we live in and dedicated to developing advanced solar solutions that enable sustainable development. Suntech designs, develops, manufactures, and markets a variety of high quality, cost effective and environmentally friendly solar products for electric power applications in the residential, commercial, industrial, and public utility sectors. Suntech offers one of the broadest ranges of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products under the MSK Solar Design Line(TM). Suntech has sales offices worldwide and is a market share leader in key global solar markets. For more information, please visit .

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements constitute ''forward-looking'' statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as ''will,'' ''expects,'' ''anticipates,'' ''future,'' ''intends,'' ''plans,'' ''believes,'' ''estimates'' and similar statements, and includes Shunda's ability to supply silicon wafers under the contract, and Suntech's ability to scale production rapidly and cost-effectively in order to meet the demand for solar products, and Suntech's ability to secure 800MW of silicon in 2009 at prices 20% below the average cost of silicon in 2007. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the performance of the parties under the agreement. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Suntech's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F. Suntech does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.

    For more information, please contact:

    In China:
     Rory Macpherson
     Investor Relations
     Tel:   +86-510-8531-8922

    In the United States:
     Sanjay M. Hurry
     Vice President
     The Piacente Group, Inc. (Investor Relations Counsel, Suntech)
     Tel:   +1-212-481-2050
SOURCE  Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
    -0-                             05/27/2008
    /CONTACT:  In China: Rory Macpherson, Investor Relations, +86-510-8531-
8922, or; Or In the United States: Sanjay M. Hurry,
Vice President of The Piacente Group, Inc. (Investor Relations Counsel,
Suntech), +1-212-481-2050, or /
    /Web Site: /

CO:  Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
ST:  China

-- CNTU026 --
2150 05/27/2008 08:00 EDT