German firm to extend Asia s solar plant

August 13, 2008

, SEOUL, August 13 – A German firm said Wednesday it has signed a deal to extend a South Korean solar energy plant which is already Asia\’s largest.

Conergy said in a statement it has reached a framework agreement on a 20-million-euro (29.8-million-dollar) project to expand the plant at Sinan in the southwest of the country.

The extension is expected to be completed by year-end and will add 4.35 megawatts to the existing 19.6 MW capacity of the plant, which became fully operational in June at a cost of 90 million euros.

When the extension is completed the plant will cover an area of 720,000 square metres, equivalent to 96 football fields, and will provide enough energy to supply 7,200 households.

It includes a solar tracking system developed by Conergy, which is claimed to increase the energy yield by up to 20 percent.

"Building Asia\’s largest solar power plant is a landmark moment for the renewable energy sector in Korea," said Kim Jihun, CEO of Conergy Korea, which provided the plant for Dongyang Engineering and Construction.

Demand for reusable energy is high in South Korea, the world\’s 13th largest economy, which imports all its oil needs.

Last month the government announced plans to spend 194.4 billion won (188 million dollars) this year on developing solar and wind energy and hydrogen fuel cells, following sharp price increases for imported oil and coal.

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