SolarWorld concludes Joint Venture with Qatar Foundation - First silicon production on the Arabian Peninsula01-03-10
Bonn/Doha: SolarWorld AG acquires a stake of 29 % in the newly founded Joint Venture Qatar Solar Technologies (QST) headquartered in the Emirate of Qatar. The Joint Venture will establish the first production facility for poly-silicon on the Arabian Peninsula. Partners are the Qatar Foundation (70%) and the Qatar Development Bank (1%).
Qatar Solar Technologies will invest a total of more than 500 million US dollars in the construction of the new production facility with a planned annual capacity of around 3,600 tons of high-purity polysilicon in its first stage of expansion. Start of production is planned for the third quarter of 2012. At the Ras Laffan Industrial City location in the North East of Qatar the Joint Venture has access to an excellent chemicals infrastructure with favorable energy prices. Here a forward integration along the entire solar value chain all the way to the finished solar power module could be implemented. A change of thinking is taking place on the Arabian Peninsula from which a larger and larger market for solar power systems is developing.
Qatar is one of the world’s largest supplier countries for natural gas that has so far been securing its power supply on the basis of natural gas. „With the conversion of natural gas via electricity into solar-grade silicon the reach of the gas virtually increases by a factor of more than 25 for as long as our solar power modules generate, as guaranteed, clean energy from the sun” says Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG when signing the contract this Monday in Doha in the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al- Missned.
With the project SolarWorld AG is further securing its supply of solar-grade silicon in addition to the company’s own production, its own raw materials recycling activities and its long-term delivery contracts. The technology partner for the construction of the production line is the German company centrotherm photovoltaics AG with which SolarWorld AG has previously cooperated successfully in the development of its manufacturing facilities.
About Qatar Foundation
The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development was founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned. The Qatar Foundation focuses on enhancing the quality of life in Qatar by investing in innovative technologies, education, community health and development in the Emirate (www.qf.org.qa).
About SolarWorld AG
The SolarWorld AG Group (ISIN: DE0005108401) is a worldwide leader in offering brand-name high quality, crystalline solar power technology. Its strength is its fully integrated solar production. From silicon as the raw material via wafers, cells and modules all the way to turn-key solar systems including recycling the group combines all the stages of the solar value chain. The central business activity is selling quality modules to the specialist trade and crystalline wafers to the international solar cell industry. Group headquarters are located in Bonn/Germany. Production sites are to be found in Germany, the USA and South Korea. The largest production facilities are operated by the group in Freiberg/Germany and in Hillsboro/USA. Sustainability is the basis of the group strategy. Under the name of Solar2World the group supports care projects using off-grid solar power solutions in emerging economies and developing countries, exemplary of sustainable economic development. Worldwide, SolarWorld employs more than 2,700 people. Since 1999 SolarWorld AG has been quoted on the stock exchange, among others in the technology index TecDAX, ÖkoDAX, Dow Jones STOXX 600, the international MSCI Index as well as in the sustainability indices DAXglobal Alternative Energy and NAI.
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