Israel's HelioFocus Gets Sunny Investment from China Firm

heliofocus china israelChina takes a shine to Israel and invests more than $10 million in new solar technology innovation.

Israel’s solar tech company HelioFocus, based on research from the Weizmann Institute, will be invested in by China’s Zhejiang Sanhua 002050 in a $10.5 million agreement, reports HelioFocus in a press announcement. The solar thermal systems developed HelioFocus will be the first direct investment made by a Chinese company in an Israeli one, reports Tova Cohen from Reuters.

The Chinese company will not only be a developer but a strategic partner, and is expected to produce components and control parts to enable the technology.

“We will be able to reduce costs and move relatively quickly to manufacturing,” Zik told Reuters. “Components that can be made at lower cost in China will be produced there.”

Terms of the investment means that the Chinese Sanhua will hold 30% of HelioFocus, next to IC Green Energy, an investment arm of  Israel Corp (ILCO.TA: QuoteProfileResearch), a holding company. IC Green Energy holds a 40% stake in HelioFocus, and is expected to invest $2.3 million beside the Chinese firm.

Founded in 2007, HelioFocus has raised over $20 million and the remaining shares of the company are held by staff and management. The technology works by converting the sun’s rays into hot air that generates electricity, and it’s expected to release its first product in 2012.

Video on HelioFocus

“We believe that the thermo-solar market will grow significantly, together with the rapid global development and ongoing legislation in the clean energy market,” Yom Tov Samia, chairman of HelioFocus and president and CEO of IC Green Energy, said in a press release

Jacky Eldan, Israeli consul general in China, said the door opened by Sanhua will pave the way for more cooperation and investments of Chinese companies in Israel.

The speech of Sanhua’s president, Mr. Zhang Daocai on the announcement:

Zhang Daocai

Dear Mr. Ardan, Minister of environmental protection, my honored Ambassador Mr. Zhaojun, Mr. Nir Gilad and Idan Ofer, Mr. Yom Tov Samia and Mr. Ory Zik, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

I’m very honored to be here as a participant in the ceremony of the joint venture between ICG, HF and Sanhua. Today may become a historic day, because today marks a milestone in our cooperation to explore the energy by solar thermal. It is a magical exploration of nature’s most basic power. It bears a strong impulse of a new industrial revolution, and it sets a new criteria for human beings’ economic development and civilization.

Thirty years ago, at the east end of the world, China underwent a great change through the reform and opening policy under the leadership of Mr. Dengxiao Ping. The ancient oriental civilization was brought back to life. Thus was born Sanhua, a private enterprise that grew up through China’s resurrection.

After 25 years of development, Sanhua is now a leading company in the field of refrigeration and air-conditioning components, and enjoys a reputation for her products world widely. Under the new circumstances, Sanhua is now reorganizing her production and updating her business. Therefore, Sanhua’s strategy is shifting from being cost-oriented to tech-oriented, and we are working to achieve a higher goal.

61 years ago, Mr. David Ben-Gurion together with the other pioneers founded the State of Israel. Through a half century of hard working, the Israeli people also enjoying an ancient civilization have made remarkable achievements that have surprised the world. We are greatly encouraged and inspired to be able to work with the outstanding Israeli entrepreneurs and scientists in the development of new energy.

We are also greatly honored by the fact that Sanhua is the first Chinese company ever to invest in a Sino-Israeli project which allows Sanhua to be a trailblazer in launching a successful economic cooperation between China and Israel. Sanhua will offer all her most excellent resources to support the solar thermal power generation project with HF, so as to make her own contribution to the development of new energy and the global civilization.

Ladies and gentlemen, what history teaches us is that it is human beings’ exploration and use of new forms of energy that pushes our civilizations forward. The global climate change, environmental deterioration and energy crisis happening today keep reminding us of the necessity of exploring new forms of clean energy. It is our dream to realize the solar power generation on a massive scale, and it also requires our intelligence. The world is now in competition for this dream. Whoever achieves the breakthrough will be the leader in the next new wave of economy and civilization.I’m sure that the cooperation between Sanuha and HelioFocus can bring us to a good place. I also hope that this will not be the last investment of Sanuha in Israel. Let’s work together and work hard with our hearts and souls to achieve that breakthrough in new technology and look forward to a bright tomorrow of human’s civilization!

-Thank you!

You like solar stories from Israel? Read 7 solar innovators from Israel that could fuel our planet. It includes briefs on Solel, BrightSource, ZenithSolar, Tigo, and more.

::HelioFocus website

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