At this year's AGM: Frankie Fan (facing camera), chairman of Anwell, spoke at length to shareholders on the trends and technical aspects of the solar business. CFO Ken Wu is on the left, facing the camera. Photo: Leong Chan Teik

GOVERNMENTS IN many a country provide some fiscal support to encourage the renewable energy industry in their country.

This is particularly so in China.

Of the countless companies in the renewable energy sector in China, Anwell Technologies has attracted especially strong support from the government.

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao visited Anwell's factory in Dongguan in 2008 and was met by Anwell chairman Franky Fan (in blue shirt). Photos: Company

There has been fiscal support as well as moral support. An example of the latter is the visit by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao to Anwell's plant in Dongguan in 2008.

Anwell has in fact received many other visits by senior government officials – as reflected in the numerous photos on the premises of Anwell which I have visited.

Clearly, Anwell, which is headquartered in Hongkong and listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2004, possesses distinct capabilities which enable it to stand out from many companies in the sector.

Anwell is the world’s second largest manufacturer of equipment that replicates CD Roms, DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

When it embarked on R&D in a related field -- producing OLED panels - it received more than RMB200 million in government grants.

These panels, which are ultra-thin, are replacing LCD and plasma screens on consumer gadgets such as television sets and laptops.  

Boost from government funds for solar energy

In another field, Anwell has distinguished itself by becoming one of only four companies in the world that designs and produces fully integrated production lines for thin-film solar panels.

It is its solar energy business that has now garnered a record RMB700 million in long-term funding for its subsidiary, Henan Sungen Solar Fab Co., Ltd, from the municipal government of An Yang City in Henan.

Announced on June 20 by Anwell, the RMB700 million funding comprises of RMB200 million cash funding and a government-backed guarantee of up to RMB500 million for bank financing.

The funds will be utilized for ramping up the production capacity of Anwell’s thin film solar manufacturing plant in An Yang.

The Group began mass production with its proprietary equipment in March 2010.

There is yet more government funding support to come.

Anwell said it is in discussion with the local government of another city in China for the funding of Anwell’s second solar panel production plant.

Anwell's solar plant in Henan uses Anwell's proprietary equipment. Production capacity of 40 MW will be ramped up to 1.5GW in five years. File photo by Leong Chan Teik

“We are thankful for the vote of confidence from the Municipal Government for our An Yang plant.

This long term funding will allow us to increase our group’s solar panel capacity to meet the increasing global demand for thin film solar panels,” said Franky Fan, executive chairman and CEO of Anwell.

“With the continuing support from the PRC Government, we target to increase our group’s solar panel capacity (from the recent 40 MW) to 1.5GW within 5 years.

"Leveraging on our unique in-house equipment and R&D capabilities, we are confident that this investment will further strengthen the Group’s position in the global solar market and put us on a long term growth trajectory.”

The long-term business potential may well be there, but Anwell stock price has not been on an upward trajectory in recent times.

It recently traded at 26 Singapore cents, just a little higher from the low point touched recently – of 23 Singapore cents - which was the lowest in the past two or so years.

It's at a big discount to the the Net Asset Value of 51.60 Singapore cents a share, as of end-March this year.

Anwell reported a HK$434.4 million net loss in FY2010, although revenue hit a record HK$1.05 billion.

Recent stories:

ANWELL: Counting on improved business performance this year

ANWELL TECHNOLOGIES: Worst is over, focus now is on marketing and sales of solar modules

Subsequent to the above article, Anwell announced on the evening of June 22: Anwell Technologies' wholly-owned subsidiary, Dongguan Sungen Ltd., has secured long-term funding arrangement of RMB 500 million from the Municipal Government of Dongguan for the set-up of the Group’s second thin film solar panel production plant, which is based in Dongguan.

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