Bosch to build 640 MW production facility in Malaysia


At a press conference in Stuttgart, Germany, Bosch revealed its plans for the facility, which would further expand its photovoltaic business and increase the internationalization of the company. The location is Asia will serve the market which is predicted to experience growth of 30 percent annually in the coming years.

Construction is scheduled to begin before the end of the year and the facility will produce everything from silicon crystals to roof mounted solar modules. 2000 employees will be recruited to staff the facility that is hoped to produce 640 megawatts (MW) when in full production by 2014, with the module line producing 150 MW.

The company expects worldwide sales in excess of €1 billion for 2011 and the location of this new plant is targeted to better serve the emerging Asian photovoltaic market. By 2020 installed capacity in the region is forecast to reach 130 MW while at present there are only five MW installed.

In terms of a manufacturing site, Malaysia and the Penang region is seen in a favorable light by Bosch as the photovoltaic market is expected to grow particularly strongly. Situated in the so-called "sun belt" region, Malaysia enjoys high levels of solar radiation. The Malaysian workforce also has experience and expertise in electronics and semiconductors and Bosch has long had a presence there.

Bosch has been investing strongly in photovoltaic manufacturing of late, with investments in a facility in France and a €500 million investment in its facilities in Germany. This includes a research and development center, headquarters and a training center. "The Arnstadt site [in Germany] will serve markets in Europe [while] from Penang we will serve the southeast Asian market," said Bosch’s Franz Fehrenbach in a statement.