Shunfeng looks to sell PV manufacturing assets

China’s Shunfeng International Clean Energy, owner of Suntech and US-based cell and module maker Suniva, has taken steps toward a possible sale of its manufacturing assets to property tycoon Kin Ming Cheng, as it shifts its focus to “light asset-based services” in the clean-energy sector.

Shunfeng informed investors it has entered a non-legally binding memorandum of understanding with Asia-Pacific Investment Management regarding a “possible sale” of its equity interests in Jiangsu Shunfeng Photovoltaic Technology – its solar manufacturing arm – for 5bn yuan ($760m).

Asia-Pacific Investment – owned by Hong Kong property tycoon Kin Ming Cheng – owns Shunfeng’s various companies.

Shunfeng did not specify which manufacturing assets it is looking to sell. Last year the Hong Kong-listed company acquired Atlanta-based Suniva and pledged to help expand its production capacity.

Despite investing heavily in PV manufacturing companies and assets in recent years – most notably Suntech, once the world’s largest module supplier – Shunfeng has signaled its intention to move past manufacturing and become the “world’s leading integrated clean-energy solutions provider”.

Speaking to Recharge last year, Shunfeng chief executive Eric Luo said the company’s future business will have two pillars: offering EPC and O&M services to owners of renewables assets; and offering energy management contracts, helping buildings like schools and factories lower their electricity costs and carbon emissions.