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Hungarian-Chinese JV starts talks on €10.5 mln solar cell plant

Talks on state support for a €10.5 million solar cell and solar panel plant the Hungarian-Chinese joint venture Orient Solar wants to build in Berettyóújfalu (E Hungary) started on Monday, managing director Ferenc Galló said.

An official visit to Hungary by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on Friday and Saturday and bilateral agreements signed together with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán provide a favorable backdrop for the talks with the National Development Ministry and the National Economy Ministry, Gallo said.

China's LGREAT and its Hungarian partner in the JV want to build a 14,000sqm plant that can turn out an annual 800,000 solar cells with built-in capacity of 200MW. Much of the plant's output would be exported to other European Union members states.

Galló said 730 people would work the production line at the plant, but it would employ a total of 800 people in a region which is severely disadvantaged. For this reason, the company can expect to get 25-60% of the cost of the investment from the state.

A decision on the support could be taken in 2-3 weeks, he said. Construction is expected to start in September and production could start four months later, he added.