SolarWorld AG extends solar silicon supply
Joint Venture for raw material production established in Freiberg
SolarWorld AG (ISIN: DE0005108401) has established the Joint Venture 'Scheuten SolarWorld Solizium GmbH' for the future-oriented production of solar silicon with the Dutch company Scheuten Solarholding B.V. in which both companies hold a share of 50 per cent each. The Joint Venture will develop and build a manufacturing plant for the production of high purity solar silicon on the basis of metallurgical silicon with an annual capacity of initially 1,000 tons. In doing so the leading solar technology group in Freiberg is creating another source for the supply of raw materials to its solar industry production facilities.
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First solar silicon production in Saxony
It is the first time in Germany that a technology for the production of solar silicon using metallurgical silicon available in unlimited quantities is implemented on an industrial scale. 'In the course of our consistent group-wide growth we are opening up an additional raw material source with this new technology,' says Dipl.-Ing. Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. 'By building the first industrial scale silicon production facility in Saxony we are at the same time increasing our vertical integration in Freiberg.'
To implement these new raw material activities the company has acquired a plot of land with a total area of 20,000 square meters including an administrative and a laboratory building at the Saxonia location – in the immediate vicinity of the existing silicon recycling activities and the logistics center of the SolarWorld Group. 'At this location in Freiberg we will be able to use synergies for the realization of an economically viable technology for the production of solar grade silicon,' explains Prof. Dr. Peter Woditsch who will assume the management of the Joint Venture on behalf of the SolarWorld Group. 'Our Solar Material division has for years been successful in the reprocessing of raw materials for wafer production and will support the Joint Venture with its technology and know-how,' adds Professor Woditsch who is at the same time the CEO of the SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Solar AG which is responsible in Freiberg for all raw materials activities as well as the production of crystalline wafers from solar silicon.
Raw material generation in the group
With the new Joint Venture SolarWorld AG increases its technological options for raw material generation. The object is the upgrading of metallurgical silicon with a degree of purity of around 98 per cent. However, the photovoltaic industry needs raw material with an even higher degree of purity which is why the raw silicon has to be further upgraded.
In addition, SolarWorld AG operates another raw material Joint Venture – Joint Solar Silicon – together with the chemicals group Degussa. At the moment this company is building an industrial scale production site for the generation of solar grade silicon from a feedstock material called Silan at Rheinfelden. In parallel to its own raw material activities the group traditionally also relies on long-term partnerships with dependable external silicon suppliers.