Avancis closes 20 MW CIGS PV facility in Germany


Avancis GmbH is restructuring its operations. The photovoltaic company is planning to convert one of its two CIGS manufacturing facilities (the 20 MW Fab 1) in Torgau into a technology center on June 1.

As the technology center will require fewer employees than the manufacturing facility, the temporary contracts for 67 employees will not be extended. Furthermore, part of Avancis’ research department in Munich will be moved to Torgau. Overall, a spokesperson tells pv magazine, two units will be transferred, and the Munich center will remain open.

The proposed development at the new technology center will focus on photovoltaic modules, specifically looking at lower manufacturing costs, higher efficiency and customer benefits, said Hartmut Fischer, Avancis MD. He added, "Experiments are necessary on the product on a scale of 1:1, in order to make further progress."

The Economic Committee, Works Council and Avancis employees were informed of the plans today. The necessary negotiations with the works council will begin immediately.

The 67 temporary employment contracts will be run down this year, said an Avancis spokesperson. They added that the company will try to offer the affected employees other placements in the Avancis group.

Avancis’ second, newer, 100 MW CIGS manufacturing facility in Torgau is expected to remain operational. A total of 220 workers are employed there.

Last October, Saint Gobain, which along with Shell, established Avancis in 2006, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to set up and operate a CIGS thin film photovoltaic module facility in Saudi Arabia. The spokesperson confirmed that negotiations are ongoing. "All efforts are made at Avancis and Cie de Saint-Gobain level to succeed. It is a political decision from the Saudi authorities," they explained.