Welcome to Azure International

Azure International is a leading investment and advisory company focused on China's cleantech energy sector. Founded in 2003, we have a team of 20+ local and international professionals based in China with backgrounds in engineering, marketing, manufacturing, consulting, policy, government relations and finance. In addition to deep advisory capabilities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon management, and energy finance, we have proven capability to invest in and accelerate the development of clean energy companies.  Our portfolio and partner companies have achieved both significant commercial success and returns to investors. Azure provides the necessary expertise and execution capabilities in China to lead relationship development with government and strategic partners, project execution, sourcing, sales and technology development – all with deep understanding of Chinese and international requirements.

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Azure International

Tel: +86 10 8447 7053

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E-mail: info@azure-international.com

Solar – Hanwha Q Cells announces module deal with Martifer: Hanwha Q Cells will supply 30 MW of modules to the Portuguese solar development company for European projects. (Q Cells, in English)

Solar – Trina announces 60 MW to Xinyi Solar: The deal includes 25 MW of dual glass modules for deployment in greenhouses. (PV Magazine, in English)

Solar – Yingli reports earnings, reiterates full-year guidance: Yingli reported gross margins of 15.7% and net profit margins of -4.8% for 1Q 2014. Shipments for the 1Q fell 33%, in line with previous earnings warnings, and the company reiterated full-year module shipment guidance of 4-4.2 GW. (SeekingAlpha, in English)

Regulatory – Small generators enjoy new tax breaks, distributed solar tax simplified: Tax authorities announced that the central government will reduce value-added tax (VAT) rates on revenue earned by small generators. Previously, some small generators were taxed at rates varying between 3-6%. Henceforth, all small generators will enjoy a flat 3% VAT rate. The tax savings are expected to amount to RMB 24 billion. The rates benefit small hydro, natural gas and biomass power. (China Power, in Chinese) In related news from the prior week, authorities announced that private individuals would no longer have to apply for a fapiao (official receipt) for revenue from power injected into the grid. From now on, grid companies can directly pay for such power, after deducting 3% VAT. Previously, individuals paid 17% VAT and had to apply separately for a tax receipt. (BJX, in Chinese) Red tape and delays are the major obstacles to meeting the government’s aggressive targets for distributed solar.

Carbon – Chongqing will be final carbon market pilot before 2018 nationwide rollout: Trade data from the existing pilots shows a wide range of prices and trading volumes. (RTCC.org, in English)

Wind – China wind export figures for 2013 show substantial growth: China exported 688 MW of wind turbines in 2013, representing growth of 60% versus the prior year’s 430 MW. Cumulative wind exports are 1,389 MW, the vast majority of which took place in 2012 and 2013. Goldwind accounts for 45% of cumulative exports, and accounted for over 50% of China wind exports in 2013. (BJX, in Chinese)

Wind – Ming Yang gains approval for 300 MW offshore project: Jiangsu has approved Ming Yang to build a 300 MW offshore facility near Rudong, already the site of China’s largest offshore wind farm. (Ming Yang, in English) Ming Yang has also signed an agreement to test its new 6 MW offshore wind turbine in the seas near Norway. (Windpower Monthly, in English)

Wind – Suntien to build 49.5 MW wind farm in Hebei: The RMB 470 million project will begin construction in a few months. (Windpower Intelligence, in English)

Wind – Huadian to build 100 MW wind farm near Lijiang, Yunnan: Huadian Jinzhong has signed a preliminary agreement with the local government to develop a 100 MW wind project. The project will likely be completed in two phases. (Windpower Intelligence, in English)

Solar – Hanergy partners with Japan’s Sojitz to enter Japanese market: The two companies announced that they are planning several PV projects, including a 10 MW thin-film manufacturing facility in Japan using Hanergy’s CIGS technology. Japan has become a major export destination for China’s solar products as the U.S., India and the EU raise tariffs and trade barriers. (PV-Tech, in English)

Solar – Hanwha ships 9.5 MW of solar to Ikaros in U.K.: The panels will be used in two separate installations, one 3 MW and the other 6.5 MW. Hanwha previously delivered 11.5 MW to Ikaros for a plant in Norfolk. (PV-Tech, in English)

Solar – Government eases tax red tape for distributed solar: Distributed solar systems selling power back to the grid can use a simple invoicing form, the government announced, rather than the complex corporate form. State Grid can collect any tax due. (PV-Tech, in English; PV Magazine, in English)

Regulatory – Central government publicizes checkups on polluting factories: The report includes detailed inspection results at factories and power plants found to have violated air pollution limits, falsified emissions data, or incorrectly operated emissions control devices. (BJX, in Chinese) Coal plants are paid a tariff set for desulfurized, de-NOx coal power, but in the past observers have noted that coal plants install mandated equipment such as scrubbers and then fail to operate it.

Wind – Minsheng Bank provides loan for Gamesa Uruguay project: China Minsheng Bank will provide loans to support the 50 MW project. The project will be developed by Abengoa with turbines from Gamesa, to be manufactured in Tianjin. (Windpower Monthly, in English)

Wind – China Resources Group to develop 150 MW Hebei project: The RMB 1.2 billion project in Qinglong, Hebei, is expected to begin construction in 2016. (Windpower Intelligence, in English)

Solar – China Sunergy will supply 50 MW of PV modules in Turkey: China Sunergy has signed an agreement with joint-venture KosiFrankensolar to develop 50 MW of rooftop and ground mounted solar. China Sunergy has manufacturing facilities in Istanbul. (PV-Tech, in English)

Wind – 201 MW Kushui project under construction: Datang’s Kushui project near Hami in Xinjing is seeing progress, with 39 turbines connected to the grid. Completion is expected by the end of 2014. (Windpower Intelligence, in English)

Solar – ReneSola reports wider-than-expected loss, revenues up 46%: ReneSolar reported 1Q financial results, with a US$ 0.14 loss per share (American depositary share). Revenues rose due to higher shipments, particularly to the Japanese market, and the company said it expects to ship between 480-500 MW of modules in 2Q 2014, with gross margins of 12-14%. (Yahoo, in English)

Power industry – CEC releases official power plant cost estimates for 2012: On May 30, the China Electricity Council released cost figures for new power plant capacity in China. Wind was estimated to cost RMB 9,056/kW, new coal capacity RMB 3,824/kW, and solar RMB 14,788/kW. Solar costs have fallen significantly since 2012. (BJX, in Chinese)

Transmission – Opponents to State Grid transmission plan issue alternative plan: 11 electric transmission experts have published a letter with an alternative plan to State Grid’s proposed 12 new long-distance transmission lines. The alternative plans are intended as having lower-cost and higher-benefits, including improved grid safety and stability. The experts also explicitly criticized State Grid for advertising its transmission plans as falling under the heading of smog reduction. (China Smart Grid, in Chinese)

Renewable energy – EY names China as #2 in its sustainability index: International professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) listed China as #2 in its sustainability index in May, slightly behind the U.S. China came out as #1 in solar PV, onshore wind, hydro and biomass, but the U.S. came out ahead in geothermal, marine and concentrating solar. (EY, in English)

Wind – First wind-powered desalination plant online: Goldwind supplied a 2.5 MW turbine to a new desalination plant powered by a wind micro-grid. The 5,000 ton per day desalination plant in Jiangsu province is run by New Energy Desalinated Sea Water Development Company. (Windpower Monthly, in English)

Wind – Ming Yang reported stronger 1Q results, higher backlog: Ming Yang reported revenue of RMB 1.2 billion, up 52% from 1Q 2013, and shipments of 386 MW, up 57%. Gross margins increased to 15.2% and fully diluted earnings per share came in at RMB 1.51, versus RMB 0.19 in 1Q 2013. Backlog reached an all-time high of 3.3 GW. (PR Newswire, in English) Ming Yang’s New York-listed shares reacted positively to the news, trading around US$ 3.10 as of March 23, compared to around US$ 2.60 prior to the earnings season, but still far below the stock’s March highs above US$ 4.20.

Wind – Construction starts at 40 MW Haiyan project: The project is expected to cost RMB 400 million and is being pursued by Datang and China Electric Engineering Consulting Group. (Windpower Intelligence, in English)

Wind – China Guangdong Nuclear announces 100 MW wind plant in Guangdong: CGNP has one plant in operation in Guangdong, and expects the new 100 MW project to cost RMB 1 billion. (Windpower Intelligence, in English)

Solar – India announces anti-dumping duties: India finalized anti-dumping duties on solar modules, hitting Chinese manufacturers with duties of US$ 0.81/W. Panels from the U.S., Malaysia and Taiwan also face duties. (PV-Tech, in English)

Solar – Solar conference participants expect China to adjust 2014 PV targets mid-year: Due to the difficulties meeting solar targets and the fact that solar developers continue to focus almost exclusively on ground-mounted projects, PV-Tech reports that participants in the SNEC solar conference in Shanghai expect the government to adjust its 14 GW solar target to lower emphasis on distributed solar. (PV-Tech, in English)

Solar – Shunfeng to change name to Sunfu: Shunfeng Photovoltaic has dropped plans to change its name to Shunfeng International and will instead go under the name Sunfu, the company said. (PV-Tech, in English)

Power sector – Russia-China gas deal may only incrementally benefit power sector: China and Russia signed a US$ 400 billion, 30-year gas supply deal that would result in pipeline construction to increase China’s gas supply. The deal, stalled for over a decade, would involve a US$ 25 billion pre-payment from PetroChina, and completion of pipelines by 2018 to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China’s Northeast. The Northeast is home to several large industrial cities as well as wind farms that are curtailed for much of the year due to insufficient transmission capacity and heavy reliance on inflexible coal generation. If completed on schedule, the pipeline would supply 9.5% of China’s domestic gas demand (of 400 bcm) in 2020. Due to supply shortages and high prices, China has historically given priority to residential and industrial gas demand as opposed to power generation. There are several areas of uncertainty about the timing of the project, given lack of details, the high cost of infrastructure, and the difficulties developing new Siberian gas fields with difficult geology. (South China Morning Post, in English) Gas from the pipeline is expected to be 40% below the cost of imported LNG. (WSJ, in English)

Power market – NDRC releases statement on improving power regulation: The National Development and Reform Commission released a document calling for increased market reforms in the power sector. The document calls for increased power trading between provinces, better public information about the power sector, increased attention to distributed power production and emissions reductions, and new minimum operating hours for thermal power plants. (Sina, in Chinese)

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