Foshan Special: Foshan massing strength in LED lighting

09:04, March 29, 2010      

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US-based maker of ultra-bright light emitting diode (LED) chips SemiLEDs has begun building a $350 million production facility in Nanhai district in the city of Foshan that when finished will produce wafers and high-power chips using the company's patented vertical LED-on-metal technology.

The latest of many LED projects is expected to further consolidate Foshan's position as a center for advanced lighting technology.

The Pearl River Delta boomtown has for several years been the recipient of massive investment from LED makers Chi-Mei Corp, Foshan Nationstar Optoelectronics Co Ltd, Foshan Blue Rocket Electronics Co Ltd and Guangdong Real Faith Optoelectronic Co Ltd.

New photovoltaic projects include a production facility of the National Photovoltaic Systematic Engineering Research Center.

"The LED lighting and photovoltaic industries are becoming one of the main forces driving our city's industrial growth," noted Zhang Jianhui, head of Foshan Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau. "The city is growing into a key center for those industries in China."

"We welcome other investors to participate," Zhang added.

According to the official, Foshan's LED lighting industry is expected to generate 10 billion yuan in revenues by 2012, while the photovoltaic sector is projected to have sales of 50 billion yuan, making the city one of the nation's largest research and production bases in those sectors.

He said the city plans to form a complete LED industrial chain ranging from production equipment and chips to packaging and the transformation of the traditional illumination industry to modern LED production by 2012.

"Many LED chip suppliers in Taiwan are looking for new locations for their production facilities in Foshan," Zhang said.

Photovoltaic industry

A sprawling facility to make thin-film solar cells in Foshan is now under construction that is also expected to accelerate development of support industries such as photovoltaic equipment and conductive glass.

The 3 billion yuan project will serve as an industrial base for research and manufacture of optoelectronic equipment and thin-film solar modules.

"The LED lighting and photovoltaic industries share a great deal of room for cooperation," the official said. "We will promote exchanges and cooperation between the two sectors."

He said Foshan has competitive advantages for the two industries including easy access to support industries in the Pearl River Delta region, where more than 80 percent of the nation's LED packaging enterprises and 72 percent of the world's solar optoelectronics suppliers are located.

The city also has modern industrial parks for both LED lighting and photovoltaic enterprises that are home to internationally and nationally renowned companies including Osram, Foshan Electrical and Lighting, CNLight and Foshan Nationstar Optoelectronics.

The city's LED lighting producers are mainly concentrated in its Nanhai district, while photovoltaic research and manufacturing facilities are based in Shunde district. Its Sanshui district is home to the thin-film solar cell industry.

Analysts said that Foshan's integration with the provincial capital of Guangzhou - about 30 km away - along with low production costs and efficient government services will help make the city attractive to global investors.

Source: China Daily
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