SolarWorld concludes joint venture with Qatar Foundation
First silicon production on the Arabian Peninsula
BONN, Germany, and DOHA, Qatar, March 1, 2010 – SolarWorld is acquiring a 29 percent stake in the newly founded Joint Venture Qatar Solar Technologies headquartered in the Emirate of Qatar. The joint venture will establish the first production facility for polysilicon on the Arabian Peninsula. Partners are the Qatar Foundation (70 percent) and the Qatar Development Bank (1 percent).
Qatar Solar Technologies will invest a total of more than $500 millions in construction of the production facility with a planned annual capacity of around 3,600 tons of high-purity polysilicon in its first stage of expansion. Start of production is planned for the third quarter of 2012. At the Ras Laffan Industrial City location in the northeast of Qatar, the joint venture has access to an excellent chemicals infrastructure with favorable energy prices. Here, a forward integration along the entire solar value chain all the way to the finished solar power module could be implemented. A change of thinking is taking place on the Arabian Peninsula from which a larger and larger market for solar power systems is developing.
Qatar is one of the world’s largest supplier countries for natural gas that has so far been securing its power supply on the basis of natural gas. “With the conversion of natural gas via electricity into solar-grade silicon, the reach of the gas virtually increases by a factor of more than 25 for as long as our solar power modules generate, as guaranteed, clean energy from the sun,” says Frank H. Asbeck, chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG upon signing a contract Monday in Doha in the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al- Missned.
With the project, SolarWorld further secures its supply of solar-grade silicon in addition to the company’s own production, its own raw materials recycling activities and its long-term delivery contracts. The technology partner for the construction of the production line is the German company Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG with which SolarWorld AG has previously cooperated successfully in the development of its manufacturing facilities.
About SolarWorld AG
SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 3,000 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999 and is quoted in the technology index TecDax. SolarWorld achieved sales of about one billion Euros for the fiscal year 2011. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com.
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