German Firm Expands Solar Production to 220 MW

After securing a financing package of some 80 million Euro (US$ 103 million), Germany’s SolarWorld AG will almost double their solar silicon PV manufacturing from 120 MW to 220 MW. With its world market share of 15 percent the SolarWorld Group is already among the leading providers of mono- and polycrystalline silicon wafers for solar power technology. This move is expected to increase the company’s market presence at a time when Germany itself offers one of the most robust markets for solar in the world.

The investments now secured by Deutsche Solar AG and consortium manager Sachsen LB will make possible the expansion of the production capacities at the Freiberg location from 120 MW to 220 MW by the end of 2006. The investments will go into modern production buildings and into the expansion of the infrastructure. In addition, the TCVP melting kilns developed by the company itself will be employed for crystallization in the so-called “Silicon Saxony”. Several hundred new jobs will be created in the company itself as well as in the supplier companies as a result of these investments. “The financing secures the expansion of solar wafer production at the Freiberg location and enables us to continue our course of expansion from the past,” said Ekhard von Dewitz, CFO of Deutsche Solar AG, Freiberg. “With this expansion Saxony and Freiberg establish themselves as the European solar power center.” A few weeks ago the SolarWorld Group had agreed the financing for the expansion of solar cell production from 30 to 120 MW and of solar module production from 30 to 80 MW with IKB as the consortium manager. The continuous expansion of the solar factories in the current year will again make for higher production and sales figures, said the company. “In 2005 we are expecting a production increase in wafer manufacture to at least 150 MW,” said Peter Woditsch, Member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Solar AG. “This means, we will again outperform the rest of our industry.” In the consortium of well-know banks Sachsen LB has assumed the role of Mandated Lead Arranger for the financing package. Other participating banks in addition to HypoVereinsbank are the BW Bank and the HSH Nordbank as well as the IKB and the WGZ Bank. As far back as in 2000 Sachsen LB already started supporting the build-up and the expansion of the Freiberg solar center in the context of the semiconductor business that existed in Saxony.
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