IPC says it chose centrotherm based on the fact that it could also provide the Arabic company with other solar technology further down the line, i.e. for solar wafering, cells and modules.
While they could not divulge too much information, due to the projects early stage, a spokesperson for centrotherm told pv magazine that the initial technological concept and basic engineering work will last for several months. After this period, the next stages will be worked out. The agreement between the two parties was signed on Monday.
An article in the Saudi Gazette added that wafers, cells and panels will be manufactured at the new facility, and that IPC will work on solar power plants in the country. "Under the agreement, the plant will produce ‘highly-pure polysilicon’ with a total capacity of up to 10,000 tons per year, of which 2,500 tons will be converted to solar wafers The company also has future plans to expand into the production of solar cells and panels as well as establishing solar power plants."
Furthermore it reports that centrotherm has announced a tender to bid for engineering services and supervision of the project. The winning tender is expected to be chosen in the coming weeks.
The centrotherm spokesperson said that while thy could not provide details, they could verify that the information in the article was true.
Robert M. Hartung, CEO and management board chairman of centrotherm photovoltaics AG further commented, "There is tremendous potential for solar energy in Saudi Arabia and the other states of the MENA region, which enjoy a lot of sunshine, as solar power is extremely cost effective compared with other energy sources."