SolarWorld Group Expands Silicon Recycling Efforts

Deutsche Solar AG, a subsidiary of SolarWorld AG, announced plans this week to strengthen its silicon recycling activities in order to expand its supplies of the increasingly limited global commodity necessary for silicon photovoltaic wafer production. At the company’s Freiberg, Germany location Deutsche Solar will establish a second production facility for the upgrading of used silicon.

“With the new investments we will double our previous upgrading capacity thus keeping pace with the expansion of the capacity in wafer production,” said Peter Woditsch, CEO of Deutsche Solar AG. The Solar Material division is responsible for the company’s internal raw materials activities that also include recycling. Woditsch added that the investment volume for the new production hall amounts to about 5 million Euro. “At our new production location we will be employing newly developed technologies that will also be able to recycle raw material qualities which have so far not been economically usable,” said Dr. Karsten Wambach, the division’s manager. The raw materials that the Solar Material division recycles for Deutsche Solar AG includes both silicon cuttings from its own wafer production plus extra silicon material bought externally. Wambach added that future plans include making its silicon recycling technologies available as a service to other companies. In addition, SolarWorld AG will intensify business activities in Asia in the context of the takeover of the solar silicon activities of the Shell Group. In South-Korea SolarWorld AG negotiated a deal with a Korean company about the delivery of solar power plants with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts (MW). “We will strengthen our contacts to South Korea and Japan in a target-oriented fashion in order to promote our solar business in those countries as well,” said Dipl.-Ing. Frank H. Asbeck, SolarWorld CEO. “In selected growth markets we are expecting double digit growth rates.”
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