HSINCHU, Taiwan, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today announced the inauguration of AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. ("AUO SunPower") in Malaysia. The ceremony was attended by AUO Chairman K.Y. Lee, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib, SunPower CEO Tom Werner, and Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam. The construction of the facility will continue through 2013 and, when completed, is expected to generate more than 1,400 megawatts annually of high-efficiency solar cells to meet world demands.
AUO SunPower is located in Melaka's "solar valley", south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The construction will continue through 2013 and, when completed, is expected to generate more than 1,400 megawatts annually of high-efficiency solar cells. The two-building facility will be 108,000 square meters (more than 1 million square feet), which is approximately the size of seven U.S. football fields, and will house 28 solar cell production lines when fully online. In production since October of this year, AUO SunPower has already produced approximately 5 megawatts with up to 22.5 percent conversion efficiencies.
"We are pleased to dedicate this facility and celebrate the success of the AUO SunPower joint venture," said K.Y. Lee, Chairman of AUO. "The AUO SunPower Fab is already in production, benefiting from our leading manufacturing technology, and efficiently-run global operations and management. We welcome Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib to our facility today, and thank him and the Malaysian government for their full support of our joint venture."
AUO SunPower has been recognized by the International Energy Agency for its superior energy-efficient design. In addition, it has applied for both gold and silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications for its administration building and cell fab, respectively. AUO SunPower was engineered with a variety of energy efficient features that will help increase operations efficiency and cut energy costs. These features include:
- Solar covered parking, with the system generating up to 2.6 megawatts of power;
- Rooftop solar on all site facilities with systems generating more than 10 megawatts of power;
- Rain water retention ponds for environmental protection and water recycling;
- Improved HVAC cooling and heating systems that offer a much lower carbon footprint for a facility of this size and type;
- 100 percent of the hot water heating capacity is generated by heat recovery air compressors;
- Cooling system efficiency that uses approximately 40 percent less electricity compared to typical systems in the Melaka area.
"AUO SunPower will enable us to significantly increase the production of our high-efficiency solar cells in this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility," said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO. "Malaysia's investment in the AUO SunPower joint venture, an excellent talent pool and a positive business investment climate, has given us the opportunity to significantly expand solar cell production that will meet the demand for solar worldwide, which has grown nearly eight fold over the past four years. We appreciate our partnership with the Malaysian government."
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ABOUT AU OPTRONICS
AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) is a global leader of thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCD). AUO is able to provide customers with a full range of panel sizes and comprehensive applications, offering TFT-LCD panels in sizes ranging from 1.2 inches to greater than 65 inches. AUO generated NT$359.3 billion (US$11.2 billion) in sales revenue* in 2009 and now houses a staff of more than 42,000 employees, with global operations in Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.S., and Europe. Additionally, AUO is the first pure TFT-LCD manufacturer to be successfully listed at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). AUO extended its market to the green energy industry in late 2008. The Display and Solar businesses were established respectively as the Company's two core businesses in October, 2010. For more information, please visit AUO.com.
* 2009 year end revenue converted at an exchange rate of NTD31.95:USD1.
ABOUT AUO SUNPOWER
AUO SunPower is located in Melaka, south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the joint venture of AU Optronics Corp. and SunPower Corp., a leading solar supplier in the United States. AUO SunPower has a capital of approximately US$700 million which some of funds were contributed and remaining amounts will be contributed over time, with AUO and SunPower each owning 50% of the shareholding.
Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the planet's most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government, and utility customers rely on the company's experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
Safe Harbour Notice
AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO), a global leader of TFT-LCD panels, today announced the above news. Except for statements in respect of historical matters, the statements contained in this Release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements were based on our management's expectations, projections and beliefs at the time regarding matters including, among other things, future revenues and costs, financial performance, technology changes, capacity, utilization rates, yields, process and geographical diversification, future expansion plans and business strategy. Such forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including risks related to the flat panel display industry, the TFT-LCD market, acceptance of and demand for our products, technological and development risks, competitive factors, and other risks described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on May 11th, 2010.
SOURCE AU Optronics Corporation