If China has a firm grasp on today’s solar manufacturing, the nation’s companies are ensuring that in many ways they will own the future as well. Yesterday the slow drift of technology from Europe to Asia momentarily accelerated, with German equipment maker Manz AG entering into a R&D joint venture for its copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin film technology with Shanghai Electric and Shenhua Group, along with a massive tool order.
Through the collaboration Manz, Shanghai Electric and Shenhua will establish a jointly owned R&D company, to which Manz will contribute its current R&D subsidiary Manz CIGS Technology GmbH. Manz will hold a 15% share of the joint venture, and will be compensated by a net amount €25 million.
Additionally, Shanghai Electric and Shenhua have placed orders for €263 million worth of Manz’s CIGSfab turnkey CIGS production lines. Pending approval by the Chinese government, these orders will show up in revenues in 2017 and 2018.
This is the latest cooperation between Manz and Shanghai Electric, which entered into an agreement in February to take a 30% stake in the German tool maker.