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SunPower to invest $570M in Philippine facility

Posted: 24 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar cells? solar cell facility? SunPower Philippines?

A SunPower Corp. official disclosed that the company will invest around $570 million in its Philippine plant in the next two years to finance 3 new manufacturing facilities, according to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Greg Reichow, SunPower Philippines Manufacturing Ltd plant manager, said in the report that the U.S.-based company's expansion was underway, with the first phase scheduled to be completed by Q3 of this year. He said that the capacity of the SunPower plant in the country would be increased from 110mW to 400mW worth of solar cells within the year, and that workforce will also increase from 1,400 to 3,400 by 2008.

The company's production plant in the Philippines serves as its "hub of high-tech manufacturing," with the solar cells produced in the facility exported to the U.S., Europe and Japan. Reichow said that the new plant will produce solar cells for the export market but may also produce for local market if there will be enough domestic demand.

The SunPower official explained that the company chose the archipelago as location for its plant because of the investment climate and available workforce. He said that the country has a strong engineering industry infrastructure, manufacturing 20 percent of the world's semiconductors. Another factor is having a low-cost but highly educated labor pool. According to Reichow, most SunPower employees in the country are engineers or other degree-holders that is why the company hired Filipinos not only for its plant but also for its back-office functions and R&D.

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