solarig.jpgSpain's Solarig, which supplies photovoltaic panels, has signed a strategic deal to take a 25% stake in Zhejinang Shuqimeng Energy Technology, the latest entrant in China's growing army of PV manufacturers.

Solarig, from the Spanish province of Soria, is investing around €25m in the deal, according to Expansión newspaper ($), which says Zhejiang Shuqimeng plans to build a new plant in Tianjin.

The Chinese company, which was only founded at the beginning of this year, plans to be a key player in the increasingly crowded Chinese PV sector and has more than 100,000 sq metres of campus facilities under construction in the Nanyang Economic Development Area near Hangzhou.

A 15 MW solar module production line is currently being constructed and this will be rapidly followed by a 25 MW production line due for completion this September.

ZSET's principal investor is Hangzhou Fulaite Plastic Development, which makes shower cabins and the like.

Solarig has at least six solar projects under development in Spain. It does not manufacture PV panels but rather acts as turnkey contractor to the numerous solar park operators that are popping up across Spain, taking advantage of the current enthusiasm for solar energy as an alternative investment and the guaranteed premium that Spain pays for electricity generated from renewable sources.

Solariq's director general Jaime Sureda insists that China is the place to be. He told Expansión:

The Asian giant is our principal target since it will become in the world's leading producer of photovoltaic panels. What we did was search for a strategic partner that had a deep knowledge of this industry but was not a a large producer.”

The deal with ZSET seems risky, given that Solariq, whose turnover is around €300m, is not a big player and to date has had no presence in China. Nevertheless, it is a risk that Solariq obviously feels will pay off.

The investment deal is one of the more tangible fruits of the recent Spanish-Chinese business summit in Beijing — see this EngagingChina story. The summit seems to have served its purpose of putting Spain on the map as far as China's PV sector is concerned. Another Spanish attendee of the summit, Ferroatlantica, hopes to will win a deal to build a massive silicon manufacturing plant in China — see this story for more.

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