Meyer Burger Technologies decided several weeks ago to transform itself from a production equipment manufacturer to an integrated PV manufacturer. Now, the Swiss technology group has made a decision on where to set up its production facilities for heterojunction solar cells and solar modules in Germany.
It has decided to manufacture solar cells in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Saxony-Anhalt, and modules in Freiberg, Saxony. It is renting buildings formerly owned by solar cell manufacturer Sovello on what it says is a long-term, cost-effective basis.
Initially, the lease covers 27,000 square meters of production space, as Meyer Burger said on Thursday, noting that it will be able to rent additional space if required. The company will produce heterojunction solar cells at the site, with an initial annual capacity of 400 MW, from the first half of 2021.
Meyer Burger will also continue to use its former SolarWorld production site in Freiberg, Saxony, to manufacture highly efficient PV modules. The facility is its largest and most modern plant of its kind to date in Europe. With approximately 19,000 square meters of space, the plant will provide optimal conditions for converting and adapting existing infrastructure and highly automated module production lines, it said. The facility has had an annual nominal capacity of more than 600 MW in the past, and that could be increased to more than 800 MW with new technologies from Meyer Burger.
The company also acquired the former logistics and distribution center of SolarWorld, with 14,000 square meters of space. Due to an agreement with the insolvency administrator, Christoph Niering, it is unable to disclose the purchase price.
Production in Freiberg is also scheduled to start in the first half of 2021 with initial annual output of 400 MW. However, further expansion to 5 GW is already being planned.
That said, Meyer Burger’s plans are still subject to certain conditions. First of all, the capital increase it announced in June must be completed, with targeted gross proceeds of CHF165 million (USD 175.3 million). Its shareholders approved the capital increase at an extraordinary general meeting today.
Meyer Burger expects the transaction to be completed by the end of this month. Creditors of SolarWorld Industries GmbH also need to approve the purchase agreement for the buildings in Freiberg.
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