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S-Oil to buy into poly-silicon producer

May 30, 2011 - 18:44 By 최희석
S-Oil Corp., the country’s third largest refiner, announced Monday that it will acquire a third of Hankook Silicon Co.’s stakes as part of its drive to expand into the renewable energy business.

S-Oil said that the deal, which will see the refiner gain 33.4 percent of Hankook Silicon for 265 billion won ($245 million), will be finalized next month.

The company said the decision to buy into the company was made as part of its drive to develop renewable energy as one of its main revenue sources.

Hankook Silicon is a Seoul-based manufacturer of poly-silicon that is used in producing photovoltaic cells.

The company began producing high purity poly-silicon in 2010, becoming the second Korea-based firm to enter the growing market.

The company is currently capable of producing 3,500 metric tons of poly-silicon on an annual basis, but the figure is set to rise to 12,000 tons once additional facilities are completed next year.

The company said that the facility expansion will give Hankook Silicon an added advantage in gaining competitiveness in the market.

The company added that similarities between poly-silicon production and oil refining processes also played a part in selecting a poly-silicon maker as its first investment in the field of renewable energy.

“This investment in renewable energy will become the future growth engine of S-Oil and set the solid foundation for sustainable growth of the company,” S-Oil chief executive Ahmed Subaey said in an emailed statement.

According to S-Oil, the global market for renewable energy is expected to grow to be worth $1 trillion in 2020 from the current $250 billion. The company also said that the market for solar power-related fields is expected to take up the largest proportion of the renewable energy market.

By Choi He-suk  (