Berlin & Cologne, Germany [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Solon AG has reached an agreement with the Dutch company Econcern on the establishment of a joint venture under the name of SOL Holding AG, to invest in production capacity at the upper end of the value chain in the solar industry.Solon AG will hold a 48 percent stake in SOL Holding AG and the Econcern subsidiary Ecoventures is to hold 52 percent of the shares. SOL Holding AG will be the majority shareholder in a venture to set up a silicon production facility in France. The company Silicium de Provence SAS (SilPro) is engaged in the production of solar polysilicon. The total investment in SilPro will amount to approximately Euro 300 million [US$394 million]. In the first stage of development, silicon production will reach an annual capacity of more than 3,000 tons. Production is scheduled to commence at the end of 2008. Through its participation in the SOL Holding AG joint venture, Solon AG aims to secure and diversify its supply of raw materials in order to underpin the company’s long-term growth in the rapidly expanding global photovoltaics market.