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Suntech Acquires Minority Stake in Asia Silicon for $8.1 Million
--Asia Silicon Successfully Initiates Production of High Purity Polysilicon
SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, Feb 17, 2009 /PRNewswire-Asia via COMTEX/ -- 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 recently acquired a minority stake in Asia Silicon Co., Ltd. from an existing shareholder for a total consideration of approximately $8.1 million.

''We are very pleased to cement our relationship with Asia Silicon,'' said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO. ''Asia Silicon has all the makings of a world class polysilicon producer due to the utilization of the most advanced production equipment, their expert technical team and industry leading cost structure. By combining Asia Silicon's low-cost polysilicon with Suntech's high conversion efficiency technology, we believe that we will be able to achieve grid parity in many parts of the world within the next two or three years.''

Suntech previously entered into an agreement to purchase high purity polysilicon from Asia Silicon with a total value of up to $1.5 billion over a seven-year period. The price of the silicon decreases to below $40 per kilogram during the term of the contract.

Dr. Tihu Wang, Asia Silicon's CEO said, ''We are very excited to have successfully initiated high purity polysilicon production and now welcome the strengthening of our partnership with Suntech. The rapid construction and startup of our close-loop facility is testament to the dedication and expertise of our team of scientists, engineers and operations professionals. Building on our industry leading cost structure and world-class technology, we will continue to grow our polysilicon business with the continuing support of the local government, the Chinese financial community and Suntech, and we are well positioned to become a leading player in the polysilicon industry.''

Asia Silicon is in the ramp up stage of a state-of-the-art polysilicon plant in Qinghai, China. Asia Silicon initiated production of high purity polysilicon at the end of 2008 and targets to reach 2,000 metric tons of annual production capacity by mid-2009. Tests on the initial products show excellent quality that can meet both solar and electronic grade requirements. The polysilicon plant utilizes the well-proven trichlorosilane-based advanced Siemens production process with comprehensive recycling system and employs equipment and engineering services from industry leading vendors. Up to 80% of the electricity used at the facility will be supplied from renewable energy hydropower sources with a pricing structure that is among the lowest industrial electricity rates in China.

About Asia Silicon

Asia Silicon Co., Ltd. is an independent polysilicon producer based in Qinghai, China. Asia Silicon employs the advanced Siemens process in its state-of-the-art polysilicon plant. With its low cost structure and continuing in-house technology development, Asia Silicon aims to be one of the world's leading polysilicon producers that is environmentally conscientious and cost competitive.

About Suntech

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) is the world's leading solar energy company as measured by production output of solar modules. Suntech designs, develops, manufactures, and markets premium-quality, high-output, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar products for electric power applications in the residential, commercial, industrial, and public utility sectors. Suntech's patent-pending Pluto technology for crystalline silicon solar cells improves power output by up to 12% compared to conventional production methods.

Suntech also offers one of the broadest ranges of building-integrated solar products under the MSK Solar Design Line(TM). Suntech designs and delivers commercial and utility scale solar power systems through its wholly owned subsidiaries Suntech Energy Solutions and Suntech Energy Engineering and will own and operate projects greater than 10 megawatts in the United States through Gemini Solar Development Company, a joint venture with MMA Renewable Ventures. With regional headquarters in China, Switzerland and the United States and sales offices worldwide, Suntech is passionate about improving the environment we live in and dedicated to developing advanced solar solutions that enable sustainable development. For more information, please visit http://www.suntech-power.com .

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 Asia Silicon's ability to ramp production capacity to 2,000 metric tons; Suntech's ability to achieve grid parity pricing in many parts of the world within the next two or three years; and Asia Silicon's ability to sell polysilicon at under $40 per kilogram. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. 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 further information, please contact:

    In China:
     Rory Macpherson
     Investor Relations Director
     Tel:   +86-21-6288-5574
     Email: rory@suntech-power.com

    In the United States:
     Sanjay M. Hurry
     Vice President
     The Piacente Group, Inc. (Investor Relations Counsel, Suntech)
     Tel:   +1-212-481-2050
     Email: suntech@tpg-ir.com

SOURCE Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.


http://www.suntech-power.com/