HONG KONG - Sino-American Silicon Products Inc, Taiwan's top maker of wafers for solar cells, expects shipments to rise about 30 percent in 2010, as the global market for solar power improves.

Sino-American, which supplies solar wafers to Japan's Sharp Corp and Sanyo Electric Co, also expects to raise cash by issuing shares and sees improved profitability next year on strong demand for solar products, Sino-American president Doris Hsu told Reuters.

Next year, overall profitability will be much better than 2009, Hsu said in a telephone interview from Taiwan.

The company is targeting wafer shipments of nearly 400 megawatts in 2010, up from about 280 MW this year.

The demand will be stronger in 2010, said Hsu, adding improved wafer prices and lower raw material costs should help boost profitability.

Solar companies have been struggling with depressed prices because of overcapacity and a fall off in demand as funding for solar projects dried up early this year.

Wafer prices have collapsed to about $0.80 a watt now, from over $3 in 2008.

Sino-American, however, is gearing up for a bigger slice of a growing global market for solar in China and the U.S., where there are generous incentives for solar projects.

The company is in talks to acquire a company in the U.S. to expand its business there.

Sino-American, through its U.S. unit, GlobiTech, plans to venture into solar panel-making business by establishing a 100 MW solar module facility in the next two years.

The plan is to grow GlobiTech organically, and eventually list the company on the Nasdaq within the next three years.

Sino-American, which derives nearly 30 percent of its revenue from its semiconductor business, also plans to acquire a semiconductor company in Japan to boost its capacity and is eyeing another solar company in China.

Hsu did not give details about the target companies.

The silicon firm also is seeking fresh funds to lift capacity and boost production next year.

The company plans to issue new shares and targets to raise less than a $100 million from it.

We have yet to decide on the size and timing of the share issue, but that's the plan, said Hsu.

(Reporting by Leonora Walet, editing by Will Waterman)