Meyer Burger secures silicon wafer supplies from Norway


From pv magazine Germany

Meyer Burger and Norwegian Crystals have signed a binding agreement for the supply of silicon wafers for the former’s cell production in Germany. The companies have not revealed any information on the agreed volume, but they are in talks regarding the expansion of wafer deliveries over the years ahead, guided by Meyer Burger’s growth plans.

Meyer Burger signed the supply contract to make its cell production as strategically independent as possible. It also wants to limit any unwanted dependencies that might affect its PV cell and module manufacturing operations and plans for expansion.

Polysilicon for the wafers is sourced from within Europe and the United States. In Norway, electricity for the polysilicon and wafer production is primarily generated from hydropower facilities. Meyer Burger also notes that its heterojunction/smartwire cell technology can use thinner wafers, and therefore less material per piece, than many other manufacturers – meaning these products will have a low carbon footprint overall.

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The Switzerland-based manufacturer wants to build a resilient supply chain and help to revive European PV production across the supply chain. Aside from wafers, Meyer Burger also procures at least a proportion of the process gases and chemicals it uses in its cell and module production from European suppliers.

“With the delivery of first quantities of wafers from European production, Meyer Burger closes the last gap in the strategic re-establishment of a European supply chain for the production of solar cells and solar modules,” said Daniel Menzel, chief operating officer at Meyer Burger.  “Nevertheless, Meyer Burger will continue to balance the benefits of global supply chains, but with clear and unambiguous requirements for social, ecological and economic sustainability.”

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