Ascent Solar terminates China fab plans


In December 2013, U.S.-based CIGS thin film module manufacturer, Ascent Solar signed a definitive agreement with the Government of the Municipal City of Suqian in Jiangsu Province, China to build a 100 MW PV module manufacturing facility. It was mutually terminated on August 5.

Details were thin on the ground regarding the reason, although Ascent said in a SEC filing on August 11 that the joint venture has "progressed more slowly than originally anticipated due to a number of factors including short supply of needed technical skills in the Suqian area and other factors affecting the long term viability of the partnership."

A total of $320,000 was invested in the project by Ascent, while Suqian contributed $960,000.

At the time of the original announcement, it was said the fab would reach a production capacity of 100 MW a year within six years. Suqian was to invest $32.5 million and would provide an area of 30,750 square meters rent free for the next five years.

Initially it would hold a 75% stake in the joint venture. However, Ascent was set to increase its share to 80% by the end of 2014, with the U.S. company having the opportunity to take over the city’s remaining shares in 2019.