Saint Gobain plans CIGS facility for Saudi Arabia

The French company has said it will build and operate the CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenide) facility, where it will manufacture Avancis’ thin film photovoltaic modules.

The MOU was signed in Torgau, Germany, with HRH Prince Faisal Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Avancis’ 100 MW CIGS manufacturing facility. It is said to represent part of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy’s or K.A.CARE’s program, which aims to install 41 GWp of solar power by 2032. "This program will enable the development of a competitive manufacturing base in the Kingdom," said Saint Gobain in a statement released.

Referring to the new partnership, it added, "This strategic alliance will lay the foundation for other businesses in the field of solar. Furthermore, it will accelerate the development of solar power plants equipped with modules manufactured in Saudi Arabia using Avancis CIGS technology."

HRH Prince Faisal continued, "On the one hand, it is going to result in an alternative and efficient way of producing electricity and on other hand, the introduction of very innovative technology to the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia will be the outcome."

Saint Gobain declined to divulge any further details at this time.

Avancis was established in 2006 by Shell and Saint-Gobain as a joint venture to develop CIGS technology in Germany. In 2009, France-based Saint Gobain took over Shell’s share. The following year, Saint Gobain and Hyundai Heavy Industries formed a joint venture to set up manufacturing in South Korea.