The Bosch Group will build a solar cell manufacturing plant in Bat Kawan, Penang, Malaysi, investing about EUR520 million. The site will produce silicon ingots through solar cells and modules.
June 22, 2011 — The Bosch Group will build a solar cell manufacturing plant in Bat Kawan, Penang, Malaysi, investing about EUR520 million. The site will produce silicon ingots through solar cells and modules.
Bosch has been present in Malaysia since 1923. Bosch cited Malaysia’s “Sunbelt” location, semiconductor/electronics-savvy workforce, and reliable power infrastructure as reasons for building in the country.
Some 2000 associates will be working at the new site in Penang. The site, which will break ground later in 2011, will serve Asian solar energy customers, which Bosch predicts will see 30% growth overall in coming years. By 2020, total installed output in Asia is expected to reach some 130GW peak, up from 5GW today. The factory should begin production by EOY 2013. Components for manufacturing sites in other countries will also be produced at the new Malaysian site, said Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the Bosch board of management.
The finished photovoltaics modules will be sold for rooftop installation and use in solar power plants, added Holger von Hebel, chairman of Bosch Solar Energy AG. Total output is expected to reach 640MW each year, with each module production line targeting an annual capacity of 150MW peak. The megawatt peak (MWp) unit is commonly used in the solar energy industry to indicate the power rating, and thus the best possible output, of a solar cell.
The Asia-based photovoltaics fab is in-line with Bosch’s internationalization aims. In May, Bosch announced that it would locate a 150MW production line in France. With an investment of more than EUR500 million in its manufacturing facility in Arnstadt, Thuringia, Germany, Bosch has more than tripled production capacity. In addition, a new research and development center is set to open at the site in the coming month, as well as a new headquarters and training center.
Bosch’s solar energy division, Bosch Solar Energy AG, expects its sales to exceed EUR1 billion in 2011.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. The Bosch Group?s Solar Energy division, headquartered in Erfurt, Germany, is a leading supplier of photovoltaic products. Together with its subsidiaries, Solar Energy employs more than 3,500 associates worldwide and makes solar panels and supervises the construction of solar power plants. Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.