In 2011, Avancis began construction on a 100 MW copper, indium, gallium, selenide (CIGS) thin film solar PV module manufacturing facility in South Korea.
At the time, the Germany headquartered company was working together with Hyundai Heavy Industries and Saint-Gobain, and each party invested KRW 110 billion in the plant.
However, “after a careful examination, the conditions for the former joint venture Hyundai-Avancis had been assessed as not optimal,” said Avancis in a statement released today. As such, it shut the project down.
On the back of the South Korean Government’s announcement last year that the country was to cover 20% of its total electrical energy production from renewable energy sources by 2030, Avancis decided that the time was again ripe for the picking.
As such, it has, alongside its parent company, the Chinese building materials group, CNBM, which took Avancis over in 2014, already held a ceremony to mark the reopening of its Korean operations.
“We have worked hard and long to get back to our factory in South Korea,” said CEO, Oliver Just. “The decisive factor was and still is in times of overcapacities and price declines in PV modules, we are nevertheless experiencing an increasing demand for our aesthetic premium modules in the solar façade sector worldwide.”
The CIGS modules will primarily serve the Korean market, although there is interest from other Asian markets, like Singapore, a spokesperson told pv magazine.
While equipment updates and hiring process are set to be completed by the end of this year, production is expected to get going in the first half of 2019.
In December, Avancis and CNBM announced that the first modules had rolled out of its 300 MW CIGS factory in Anhui Province, China.
Overall, they are said to be targeting a capacity of 1.5 GW in China, although the spokesperson could not say when that would be achieved. “Different plans are at different stages,” they said. Additional MWs are already in the planning, they added.
Meanwhile, in June, Singulus Technologies AG, of which CNBM is a minority shareholder, said it had secured a new contract from Avancis Germany for the development of next generation CIGS production facilities. Further details on the volume and timeframe of the agreement were not provided, however.
The two companies have been working together since 2008 to develop and optimize the “Cisaris” selenization plants for the production of CIGS thin film modules. Their common goal is to further reduce manufacturing costs, and increase cell and performance.