With so much of the solar value chain having moved to Asia, announcements of new European solar manufacturing facilities are few and far between. Rarer still to hear about new PV production in Bosnia, which is still struggling with the legacy of civil war in the 1990s and has not yet joined the European Union.
Last Friday, Italy's MegaGroup, the parent cell of PV cell maker and module maker MegaCell, announced an agreement to build a new ingot and wafer production plant in Kozarska Dubica, Bosnia.
MegaGroup has arranged the purchase of a 20,000 square meter site in an industrial area in the town, and plans to build the plant in 2016. The first phase will have the capacity to produce sufficient multicrystalline ingots and wafers and cells to supply 120 MW of PV cell and module manufacturing annually, and will represent a 12.5 million investment.
The company plans to begin ramping production from this first phase by the end of 2016. MegaGroup is also planning a 22.5 million second phase, which will include n-type mono ingot and wafer production, as well as establishment of other PV Value Chain parts.
MegaGroup says that production from the site will be mostly allocated to MegaCell, and the production of n-type mono wafers could supply raw materials for designs such as MegaCell's bifacial Bison cells and modules.
90 workers will be recruited and trained to run the plant. Ultimately, MegaGroup says that it is aiming to establish a world photovoltaic hub, and cites the advantages of energy costs among the lowest in the world due to plentiful hydroelectricity, as well as a high-skill and low-cost workforce and support from the government.
For MegaGroup it is a big step forward expansion in emerging countries, stated MegaGroup CEO Franco Traverso. Our target is forming a network of partner companies who will benefit from raw production and commercial internal synergies and could be strongly competitive on a global level.
Self-production of the PV raw materials in Bosnia is a key element of a strategic planning that aims to make high-performance PV energy even more competitive with the fossil fuels energy.