centrotherm acquires 14.4 percent of Sunshine PV Corp.

Together, the companies say they will develop the next-generation of CIGS thin film modules.

Although the exact financial sum was not disclosed, centrotherm says its subsidiary, Photovoltaics Asia Invest Pte. Ltd., Singapore, has invested a single-digit amount in millions of euros in Sunshine as part of a capital increase. It adds that the stake is expected to be expanded to a total interest of around 25 percent early next year.

With the share purchase, the company explains it has taken an important strategic step to introduce new second-generation selenium plants, consequently advancing its CIGS thin film technology. The investment enables a close cooperation with Sunshine, it says, that allows manufacturing systems to be operated and further optimized under real mass production conditions.

Last year, centrotherm installed its first CIGS turnkey plant with Sunshine. The production line, Torsten Knödler, spokesperson for centrotherm tells pv magazine, has a capacity of 30 megawatts (MWs) and comprises 60 machines, which cover an area of 400 meters. He added that thus far, it has not reached "full capacity", although the results are "pretty good". Currently, centrotherm has not sold its CIGS turnkey plants to any further customers.

Together with its Taiwanese customer, the company says it is working on boosting efficiency and throughput at the pilot plant: Sunshine is currently starting to sell the first modules from its Taiwanese production base.

"CIGS thin film technology offers enormous potential. With this step, we are backing this future market in a targeted manner,” comments Dr. Frank Stubhan, chief executive officer of centrotherm photovoltaics AG’s Thin Film Module division. "We are currently experiencing major interest for CIGS technology from potential new customers."

Look our for more news on Taiwan in the December edition of pv magazine.