On a trip to South Korea that will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Prime Minister, António Costa, will stop by Hanwha Q-Cells among other Korean businesses.
By placing significant wagers on solar energy in the beginning, this corporation entered Portugal as the big winner of the 2020 photovoltaic auction, acquiring six of the twelve lots. However, Hanwha has been expanding its horizons with other clean energy, like offshore wind and green hydrogen, which the Government is looking to develop here.
By 2030, the energy sector in Portugal is expected to attract 60 billion euros in investment, with 4.3 to 4.7 billion euros of that amount tied to the offshore wind auction, according to the environment minister Duarte Cordeiro. By the fourth quarter of this year, the prime minister declared, this auction would take place.
The company claims to be the market leader in solar, operating across the full value chain, from cell and panel production to solar park development and energy sales. It dominates the US solar module market in terms of market share and has been stepping up its operations in Asia, Europe, and Australia. Hanwha is also developing additional cutting-edge solutions, such floating photovoltaic panels, which EDP showcased in Portugal with a building in Alqueva last year.
Hanwha Q-Cells presently has 2 gigawatts of solar projects in Portugal that are in various licencing stages, a sector source claims. The three most sophisticated projects will be in the Alentejo and have a capacity of around 30 megawatts apiece. They will be Portugal’s first solar projects with batteries, and work on them is expected to begin later this year. Three of the lots that the business has promised will be occupied by these projects in 2020. Construction shouldn’t begin before the end of this year or the beginning of the following one on the other three because their licencing processes are less advanced.
Hanwha has eight other projects in its pipeline in addition to those that came from the 2020 auction. Companies are nearing the conclusion of the environmental licencing procedure or are in the midst of applying for a production licence. Requests for more equipment to boost the capacity of ongoing projects are still on the table.
Based on the installed capacity in question, estimates at market rates place the company’s whole investment in Portugal at close to 1,500 million euros. Hanwha was founded 71 years ago, at the same time when the Korean War between South and North Korea came to a conclusion. It began as an explosives company at a period when Korea was dependent on imports from Japan and when these were required to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
The first diversification occurred in 1965 when Hanwha entered the petrochemical sector. This business became the first to possess a private thermoelectric power plant four years later. It was time to enter the financial services industry in the 1970s, and in 2002, the portfolio was expanded to include an insurance company. Up until it took its first moves into solar energy in 2010, it also made investments in the manufacturing of car components.