LDK Solar to repay Q-Cells loan 4 years early; signs MOU with NREL

20. September 2010 | Industry & Suppliers, Research & Development, Top News | By:  Becky Stuart

Q-Cells SE has announced that Chinese company LDK Solar will repay a USD224.9 million (ca. €170 million) loan, which was granted by Q-Cells in 2008, in its entirety by the end of next year. It was originally expected that the loan would be fully repaid by the end of 2015.

Silicon wafer, Q-Cells

The prices for the companies existing solar wafer supply contract have been adjusted. Image: Wikipedia/Georg Slickers.

Q-Cells has said the repayment will strengthen its liquidity position and is a “major step forward” in the long term financing of the company. It added that it has two outstanding convertible bonds: repayment of €492.5 million for the first of these is due in February 2012, said the company.

Payments of USD195.0 million (ca. €150 million) from LDK Solar have reportedly been agreed until the end of this year. An initial payment of USD56.2 million (approximately €44 million) has already been made. In return, the existing bank guarantee, with which the Q-Cells loan is secured, will be reduced in stages and replaced by other collateral.

Furthermore, the prices for the companies existing solar wafer supply contract have been adjusted. Under the new terms, the parties have said that flexible prices will continue to apply for the entire term of the contract, until 2018. These will be in line with the market price, and will be determined on a quarterly basis, they said.

Silicon research

In other news, LDK Solar Co., Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Under the agreement, the two parties are expected to undertake collaborative research and development activities related to silicon materials and photovoltaic (PV) devices.

The objectives for the collaborative activities, say the companies, are the investigation of silicon feedstock related issues, the development of standards for solar grade silicon and evaluation methods, and research on crystallization technologies and commercial implementation.

Xiaofeng Peng, chairman and CEO of LDK Solar commented: "With common R&D goals and having previously collaborated informally with the NREL, we are pleased formalize our cooperation.  We are proud of the continued work by our Technology Center, which is dedicated to product and technology development while sustaining competitive advantages for LDK Solar."

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