LED market in Russia expands with investment and state support

Although in recent years the Russian LED market has been characterized by a lack of standardization, a lack of a transparent pricing policy, and low product quality, this situation is changing rapidly. State funding and investment from private companies is helping to build a domestic LED infrastructure and, all over Russia, companies dedicated to LED lighting technologies are emerging.

The Russian state is playing a major role in the development of the domestic Russian LED market. In March 2010 the Presidential Commission for Modernisation announced that the transition from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient lighting devices will not take place by implementing energy-efficient saving lamps (CFLs), but by converting to LEDs directly. The State has also decided to introduce, at short notice, new standards for LED lighting technologies.

There is a strong political willingness to establish LED lighting technologies within the Russian market, and capital investors are helping to establish a domestic Russian LED production capability. Currently, Russia imports 98 % of its LED lighting, but this situation will change as domestic suppliers become better established. Meanwhile, Russia’s biggest companies, such as Russian Railways Corporation and Gazprom, are among the largest consumers of LED technology.

Further, the newly-founded Non-Profit Association of Russian LED Manufacturers, which has been established by competitive suppliers Optogan and Svetlana Optoelectronics, is likely to play an important role in the consolidation of the Russian LED lighting market.

LED Forum Moscow

Issues relating to Russia's emerging LED market will be discussed at the fourth LED Forum Moscow, which takes place on November 10-11.

In the plenary session on November 10, speakers will analyze the trends in Russia's LED market, including the country's plans to establish domestic Russian LED production facilities. Workshops conducted by Osram Opto Semiconductors, Philips and Rainbow Electronics will take place on November 11.

The LED Forum Moscow is part of Interlight Moscow, Russia’s leading trade fair for decorative and technical lighting, which attracted more than 300 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors in 2009. The event takes place on November 9-12, 2010 at the Expocentre Fairgrounds in Moscow.

Optogan expands production

As evidence of the growing LED infrastructure in Russia, the St. Petersburg-based company CJSC Optogan recently placed an order with Aixtron for two MOCVD systems for GaN-based LED growth. The St. Petersburg facility was acquired by Optogan from Elcoteq, a global electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company, in May 2010.

Also, Optogan recently appointed Markus Zeiler, a former Osram employee, to oversee the expansion of Optogan on a global scale. Optogan is a manufacturer of LED components, LED lamps and LED luminaires. The company was established in Finland in 2004, and was acquired in 2008 by Onexim, a Russian financial group.

Monocrystal decides against IPO

Russia also has a leading supplier of sapphire crystals in Stavropol-based Monocrystal, Inc. The company, a subsidiary of Energomera, appointed Oleg Kachalov as its new CEO in June this year. The company recently postponed its planned IPO, citing volatility in global equity markets and other factors. "We remain very confident in the strength of our business," said Kachalov. "We are able to finance our 2010-2011 business growth plans from internal sources, however, we may consider returning to the equity market at a future date when conditions become more favorable."

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