Qatar Solar Energy signs silicon deal with Kazatomprom


Qatar Solar Energy (QSE) has signed a landmark agreement with Kazakh energy company Kazatomprom allowing it to secure solar grade silicon at "an extremely competitive fixed cost" for the next ten years.

QSE says the agreement puts Qatar in "a leadership position in the market given that demand for raw polysilicon will continue to grow as the global need for solar energy increases exponentially in the near future."

The deal, signed by QSE CEO Salim Abbassi and Azat Betekbaev, chairman of Kazatomprom’s solar division, will also contribute to accelerating QSE’s solar power purchase agreements in Kazakhstan, the company added.

Kazatomprom, ranked as the world’s largest producer of uranium, has been active in renewable energy since 2009. The company is active in the sustainable energy sector, including photovoltaic module production through its Astana Solar unit and ingot, wafer and cell production through its Kazakhstan Solar Silicon division as well as solar grade silicon production (Kaz Silicon).

"This partnership allows QSE to secure the entire value chain from raw material to smart-grid development and provides a powerful foundation from which QSE will further expand its production capacity to 2.5 GW," Abbassi said, speaking at a recent press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

"The steady supply of quality raw material is crucial to Qatar Solar Energy’s mission to deliver on the promise of low cost and affordable renewable energy for populations across the world," Abbassi added.

Abbassi said QSE — the largest solar technology development and manufacturing facility in the MENA region — was seeking to lower costs and increase efficiency of its products by combining research, development and manufacturing under one roof in an effort to form a fully integrated value chain.

"QSE, when it reaches capacity of 2.5 GW, will make Qatar one of the largest producers of solar power in the world, contrasted with the total combined capacity of production in Europe and the U.S. which currently stands at 3.4 GW."

The Kazatomprom deal follow’s QSE launch of its solar technology research and production facility in the MENA region last month.

"QSE is quickly putting Qatar in a leadership position for both exporting innovative solar renewable energy technology products and knowledge transfer on high performance cells, modules, and smart-grid development," the company said.

QSE and Kazatomprom also plan to increase cooperation on knowledge-sharing and training. In September, the first delegation of Kazatomprom engineers will travel to QSE headquarters in Qatar in the first step towards the company’s knowledge-sharing engagement.