Hanwha SolarOne to Boost Shipments as Higher Demand Buoys Prices

Hanwha SolarOne Co., a Chinese solar-panel producer, expects to increase shipments as much as 81 percent this year as higher demand in South Africa and Japan bolsters prices.

Hanwha SolarOne plans to ship 1,300 megawatts to 1,500 megawatts in 2013, compared with 829.8 megawatts last year, the Qidong-based manufacturer said today in a statement. Demand is also rising in the U.S., the Middle East and at home, it said.

An increase in deliveries may help buoy revenue at Hanwha SolarOne, which posted a wider full-year loss today. Government-backed solar programs in Japan and South Africa are set to boost demand for panels after a glut eroded prices the past two years, tipping manufacturers including Solyndra LLC into bankruptcy and leading China’s Suntech Power Holdings Co. to default on bonds.

“Industry prices seem to have stabilized,” Ki-Joon Hong, chief executive officer of Hanwha SolarOne, said in the statement. “Profitability will remain challenging for most if not all of 2013, but we feel confident that we are making good progress on the return to a path of profitability.”

The company, which expects to ship at least 300 megawatts in the first quarter, plans capital expenditures of $50 million for this year and has no immediate plans to add production capacity. Its net loss widened to 1.56 billion yuan ($251 million) last year from 930 million yuan, the statement shows.