POCATELLO, ID and QIDONG, CHINA, Nov 26, 2007 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOKU), a diversified provider of clean energy products and technologies including polysilicon for the solar industry, and Solarfun Power Hong Kong Limited, a subsidiary of Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: SOLF), an established manufacturer of both photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in China, today announced the signing of a definitive contract for Hoku's sale and delivery of polysilicon to Solarfun over an eight-year period beginning in mid-2009.
Under the contract, up to approximately $306 million may be payable to Hoku during the eight-year period, subject to product deliveries and other conditions. The contract provides for the delivery of predetermined volumes of polysilicon each year, with the first shipment in the second half of 2009 and continuing over an eight-year period from the first shipment, at set prices that will decline throughout the term of the agreement. The contract also provides for an initial deposit of $10 million to Hoku on or before December 28, 2007, and requires that Solarfun make additional prepayments for products in the aggregate amount of $45, which are to be paid to Hoku in three installments: the first payment is due on September 30, 2008, and the final payment is due on March 31, 2010. The $45 million prepayment amount is to be placed in an escrow account by Solarfun, or secured by a letter of credit from Solarfun's bank, on or before January 10, 2008. Under the agreement, Hoku will grant to Solarfun a security interest in its polysilicon assets to secure Hoku's obligation to repay $55 million to Solarfun as a credit against product shipments over time.
"We are pleased to have established this relationship with Solarfun, a rising star in the solar industry," said Dustin Shindo, Chief Executive Officer of Hoku Scientific. "Their long-term strategic direction and their aggressive expansion plans make them an ideal partner for Hoku."
"Hoku has built a solid reputation as a leader among the new entrants in the polysilicon field and we are extremely confident in their ability to meet our long term polysilicon requirements," said Solarfun's Chairman Lu Yonghua. "This contract will help us realize our anticipated manufacturing cost advantages through our previously disclosed vertical integration and capacity expansion plans."
Hoku is in the process of building a polysilicon plant in Pocatello, Idaho that is being designed for annual production up to approximately 2,500 metric tons of polysilicon. Hoku is currently planning a Phase II expansion of the polysilicon plant to expand capacity beyond 2,500 metric tons. Hoku's customers, including SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd., Global Expertise Wafer Division Ltd. -- a subsidiary of Solar-Fabrik AG -- and Solarfun, have collectively agreed to purchase approximately $1.5 billion in polysilicon over a seven to ten year period.
"Signing this contract with Solarfun is the first order we have accepted for Phase II of our polysilicon business, which will include additional production capacity in excess of the 2,500 metric tons of annual capacity that is included in our Phase I development," concluded Dustin Shindo. "The ultimate capacity of our Phase II expansion, in excess of the volumes we have committed to Solarfun, will be determined based on the total contracts we sign with other customers over the next several months."
About Hoku Scientific, Inc.
Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOKU) is a diversified clean energy technologies company with three business units: Hoku Materials, Hoku Solar and Hoku Fuel Cells. Hoku Materials plans to manufacture, market, and sell polysilicon for the solar market from its plant currently under construction in Pocatello, Idaho. Hoku Solar is a provider of turnkey photovoltaic systems in Hawaii. Hoku Fuel Cells has developed proprietary fuel cell membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for stationary and automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cells. For more information visit www.hokuscientific.com.
Hoku(R) and Hoku Scientific(R) are registered trademarks and Hoku Materials(TM) is a trademark of Hoku Scientific, Inc.
About Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
Solarfun Power Holdings Co, Ltd. (NASDAQ: SOLF) manufactures both PV cells and PV modules, provides PV cell processing services to convert silicon wafers into PV cells, and supplies solar system integration services in China. Solarfun produces both monocrystalline and multicrystalline silicon cells and modules, and manufactures 100% of its modules with in-house produced PV cells. Solarfun sells its products both through third-party distributors, OEM manufacturers and directly to system integrators. Solarfun was founded in 2004 and its products have been certified to TUV and UL safety and quality standards. For more information visit www.solarfun.com.cn.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve many risks and uncertainties. These statements relate to Hoku Scientific's ability to successfully derive revenues from the sale of polysilicon to Solarfun, Sanyo, Suntech and Global Expertise Wafer Division; its ability to successfully raise sufficient funds to establish a polysilicon manufacturing plant; its ability to engineer and construct a production plant for polysilicon, including its planned Phase II expansion; Hoku Scientific's relationships with Solarfun, Sanyo, Suntech, Global Expertise Wafer Division, and other contracting parties; its ability to manufacture polysilicon; its ability to meet the delivery schedule in its agreement with Solarfun; its ability to sign additional contracts for the sale of polysilicon; the quality of polysilicon to be manufactured; Hoku Scientific's costs to manufacture polysilicon, and its ability to offer pricing that is competitive with competing products; Solarfun's vertical integration and capacity expansion plans; Hoku Scientific and Solarfun's respective future financial performance; their business strategies and plans; and objectives of each company's management for future operations. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "can," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Hoku Scientific's actual results, performance, time frames or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, time frames or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. In evaluating these statements, you should specifically consider the risks described in Hoku Scientific and Solarfun's respective filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as applicable. Except as required by law, neither Hoku Scientific nor Solarfun assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
CONTACTS for Hoku Scientific: In Hawaii: Hoku Scientific Tel: 808-682-7800 Email Contact CONTACTS for Solarfun Power Hong Kong Limited Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd. Investor Relations 8621-6306-8907 Email Contact or Christensen Peter Homstad Email Contact 480 614 3000 or Shelldy Cheung 852-2117 0861 Email Contact
SOURCE: Hoku Scientific, Inc.
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