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SolarWorld Group invests $26 million for new module line in Camarillo

Bonn - Against the background of the booming export business the SolarWorld Group will be building another integrated solar factory (GigaFab) in Freiberg thus increasing the capacity of wafer production in Saxony by 500 MW to 1.0 Gigawatt (1,000 Megawatt). At the new location 1,000 new jobs will be created on an area of 20 acres starting in the year 2008. The doubling of the previous expansion target is due to the high international demand for the silicon wafers of the SolarWorld AG subsidiary Deutsche Solar AG, one of the world leaders in the production of the super-thin silicon wafers.

Deutsche Solar AG – in addition to the contracts agreed upon and reported so far – has entered into further long-term agreements with customers from the international solar cell and solar module industry worth 500 million EUR. All in all, therefore, the order book volume adds up to 5 billion EUR until the year 2020. 90 percent of the orders come from abroad, 43 percent from Asia alone. Some 40 percent of the total volume are shipped to Europe (excluding Germany). Customers from Germany account for 10 percent of the orders and North American customers for 7 percent.

As a result of concluding new raw materials contracts the Group has secured the necessary feeder products for the expansion of capacities in addition to the company's own silicon production which is just starting. "The export-driven external wafer business has become an important pillar of the Group's business in addition to trading," explains Dipl.-Ing. Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. "We are securing our leading position as the reliable provider of high quality silicon wafers. In return we are deliberately limiting the growth of our in-house processing in the years 2007 and 2008."

15 Megawatt order from South Korea

The international trading business is also being consistently expanded. In South Korea, one of the largest solar markets in Asia, the Group has concluded a contract for the delivery and construction of a 15 Megawatt (MW) solar power project with Gochang Solarpark Co Ltd. The building work will already start in July in the South Western province of Chollabuk-Do and is expected to be completed by early 2008. "With this deal we will be realizing the largest individual solar project in Asia so far," says Jörg Walberer, Managing Director of SolarWorld Asia Pacific PTE Ltd. from Singapore. "In South Korea and South East Asia we are among the market leaders and we will consistently expand our position."

CEO: "Efficiency to be improved by more than 6 percent annually"

"The growth of renewable energies worldwide is securing more than 200,000 jobs in Germany by now. By 2020 it will be more than 500,000. Under the motto 'Technology and Efficiency made in Germany' we will be exporting more and more climate-friendly products into the world," says SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck who will be participating in the climate summit convened by Chancellor Angela Merkel. "By way of continuous technological optimization we as the SolarWorld Group want to achieve annual efficiency improvements of more than 6 percent thus doubling the government target of 3 percent. As the renewable energies industry we see the potential for the target of the Federal Government to achieve a share of renewable energies of 27 percent in the total power supply to be exceeded by half again thus reaching a target quantity of at least 40 percent."

SolarWorld Real Value

SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. As the largest solar producer in the United States and Europe, SolarWorld employs about 3,200 people and carries out production in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany. From the raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and panels, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network with locations in the United States, Europe, Singapore and South Africa, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe and is committed to resource- and energy-efficient production. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. For more information, visit www.solarworld-usa.com.

Media Contact

Devon Cichoski
Media relations manager
SolarWorld Industries America
4650 Adohr Lane
Camarillo, CA 93012
Mobile: 805-377-2905
Office: 805-388-6388
devon.cichoski(at)solarworld-usa.com