On 15 February 2011, we held a project commencement ceremony for our new product, solar photovoltaic connector in our Suzhou base, during which our Chairman, Mr. Chi Shaolin gave a speech summarizing the work done thus far and outlining the Group’s vision and strategy for this project.
Solar photovoltaic connector system is mainly used to accommodate connection of photovoltaic wafer used in solar power generation. Solar industry has developed rapidly in recent years with the increasing level of development and usage as a result of environmental concern. According to Frost & Sullivan, by 2013, the global solar connector market is likely to reach US$4.9 billion with a CAGR of 25.1%.
The development of solar photovoltaic connector system begun about 10 years ago. Since the products are often used in harsh weather environment and conditions, such as desert or the top of buildings, therefore they are required to posses special characteristics such as high temperature resistance, anti-corrosion, low temperature resistance, lightning protection, dust prevention and water proof. In addition, the products are expected to function for over 20 years in general and required to comply with strict certification requirements of different jurisdictions. Currently, certain European and Japanese players are leaders in the solar photovoltaic industry in terms of technology however in the past 5 years, as China continue to focus resources on the development of its solar industry, we have seen the entrance and fast development of many PRC players by acting as OEM for many of the leading foreign players. However, few of them possess their own R&D capabilities and technology knowhow. We believe that because of cost advantages to customers, there is an attractive market opportunity for Chinese domestic players which possess their own R&D capabilities and are able to perform large scale manufacture of solar photovoltaic connectors and therefore has begun planning in 2010 for our Group’s entry into such market in.
We believe we are strategically placed to enter the solar photovoltaic connectors industry. Firstly, we already have team of R&D staff based in Suzhou with rich experience in the development of polymer materials used as external casing for our cable products, and many special purpose polymer materials products that they have developed are able to perform under harsh weather conditions. Secondly, our connector R&D center has already successfully developed certain connector products, of which its precision attributes have already exceeded that required of solar photovoltaic connectors. Thirdly, we have an highly experienced team whom are capable to design, develop, and produce our own moulds, which allow us not only to reduce production cost but also to control quality and consistency between production and R&D. Fourthly, our production facilities are already strategically located near the Suzhou-Wuxi-Changzhou area, which is a major solar power products production and distribution center in China, and will allow us to better serve our potential customers.
What we were lacking to enter this new business segment before was our lack of experience in servicing customers in this industry and the necessary products certifications. Focusing such inadequacy, we begun to plan and prepare for our solar photovoltaic connector project in the 2nd half of 2010 and has by the end of January 2011, put together a team of R&D, production and marketing staff with the necessary expertise and experience. Beginning from February 2011, we started work on product design, moulds development, testing and products certification etc. We target to begin market development and trial production in September 2011, and volume production by the end of 2011. Our aim is to for our solar photovoltaic connectors to be one of our Group’s growth drivers within the next two years.
The formal commencement of our solar photovoltaic connector project represents a new milestone for our connector division, after our successful foray into I/O connectors and communication connectors markets. As we continue to improve and refine our connectors product mix and thereby increasing our target markets, we believe our Group’s competitive advantages would be further enhanced.