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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        23  March 2011

Work on solar cell plant starts in Vietnam

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Work started on Vietnam's largest solar cell plant in Ho Chi Minh City's Cu Chi district on March 22. The US$1 billion plant funded by the US-based First Solar Group will have four production lines turning out thin-film solar power panels and a recycling factory.

The first phase of the plant has an investment capital of US$300 million and is scheduled to be put into operation next year.

First Solar Group's President Bruce Sohn said the construction of the plant in the South-East Industrial Zone in Cu Chi district enjoys favourable conditions in power sources, human resources, business environment and support from authorities.

The plant is expected to reduce CO2 emissions and global warming, provide clean energy and generate jobs for local workers, he said.

Initial production output will be for export, Sohn said, noting that First Solar will then prioritise the domestic market, particularly HCM City.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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