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China’s Hanergy Purchases Third Thin-Film Solar Producer

Hanergy Holding Group Ltd., the Chinese clean-power producer, acquired the U.S. photovoltaic manufacturer Global Solar Energy Inc. for an undisclosed amount, its third purchase in a year of a thin-film panel maker.

Global Solar joins Miasole Inc., which Hanergy purchased in January, and the Q-Cells SE Solibro unit it acquired in September, the Beijing-based company said yesterday in a statement on its website. They all make thin-film panels using copper indium gallium selenide.

Hanergy is seeking to become a more significant supplier in the solar-panel market while avoiding the commoditized silicon-based products that have plunged in value as global production capacity exceeds demand, said Dan Ries, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York.

“Hanergy would like to join the big guys but with a differentiated product,” Ries said in an interview yesterday.

“Thin-film photovoltaic technology is the future and the trend of the industry,” Hanergy Chairman Li Hejun said in the statement. The company didn’t respond to e-mail to its media department in China or voicemail at its U.S. office in Burlingame, California.

First Solar Inc., the world’s largest producer of thin-film panels, applies cadmium-telluride between sheets of glass. It has 1.9 gigawatts of production capacity, mainly in Malaysia and Ohio, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Production Capacity

Global Solar, based in Tucson, Arizona, has a factory with 40 megawatts of capacity and makes flexible solar panels for portable chargers and recreational products. That will add to Hanergy’s 3 gigawatts of production capacity, according to its website.

“What Chinese companies often show for capacity on their websites is their goal, or what their factories could produce if they had the equipment,” said Ries. “They rarely update these things to show their actual capacity.”

Hanergy operates hydropower plants with 6 gigawatts of capacity and 131 megawatts of wind farms. It purchased the U.K. residential solar installer Engensa Ltd. in May.

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