AU Optronics (AUO) the largest LCD manufacturer in Taiwan will purchase a 50 percent share in M. Setek Co., Ltd. of Japan for US$125 million. K. Y. Lee, Chairman of AUO stated his optimism in the company’s venture into the energy industry:
This will mark a major step forward for AUOâ€™s endeavor in energy business. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with M.Setek, jointly bringing greater inputs to solar energy sources and providing better renewable energy solutions.
M. Setek manufacturers polycrystalline silicon and will give AUO a foot into the solar energy business. M. Setek produces monocrystalline silicon wafers and recently diversified into polycrystalline silicon wafers, which the company can manufacture 3,000 metric tons annually that can be used to make solar cells that generate about 300 megawatts. Other Taiwan-based companies have entered into the solar energy industry including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), Formosa Plastics Corp. and Tatung Corp.
AUO established a 100 percent owned energy company called AUO Energy Taiwan Corp. (AET) with Max Cheng presiding as chairman in May 2009. AET is focused on developing its capabilities to provide integrated technical support for energy systems, extensive value-added services such as solar energy systems for commercial and residential applications.