Singulus signs MoU with GCL to develop heterojunction cells in China

Singulus Technologies, the German-based producer of solar tooling equipment, has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two large Chinese energy firms for the supply of heterojunction cell production equipment.

As demand for heterojunction (HJT) solar cells increases globally, but particularly in China, GCL – one of the largest solar firms in the country – has stepped up efforts to produce this technology domestically. To do so, it has signed the MoU with Singulus for the development, optimization and supply of appropriate production systems for the manufacturing of HJT solar cells.

Another Chinese solar firm, China Intellectual Electric Power Technology Co., Ltd (CIE), is also a signatory of the MoU, and the three companies are preparing to work together on the delivery and utilization of the tooling systems.

According to a Singulus press release, the first processing systems have already been ordered, and the development of HJT cells will be overseen by GCL and CIE in Taixing, China.

In Singulus’ first half (H1) financials for 2016, the company stated that the late placement of orders for around €110 million in CIGS tooling equipment from China National Building Materials had served to suppress expected revenue growth. These delays added to an order backlog of around €133.5 million, which represents a strong position for the firm after years of losses.

For GCL, the deal follows a recent $150 million move for bankrupt solar company SunEdison’s manufacturing business. This purchase will enable GCL to expand its polysilicon production capacity and enhance its R&D on electronic grade granular polysilicon on FBR technology.

Rumors are also circulating within the industry of a proposed takeover by GCL’s parent company Golden Concord Holdings of SunEdison yieldco TerraForm Power, which has an estimated market value of $1.6 billion.