Chinese, German firms building solar cell plant

SHANDONG, CHINA - The Sunvim Group Company Limited has begun construction in Shandong on a thin-film solar cell project that uses German technology.

The company will cooperate with Johanna Solar Technology GmbH (Germany), using copper indium gallium sulfur selenide (CIGSSe) solar cell techniques, which yield high levels of efficiency that compete with crystalline silicon solar modules, the companies said.

The companies will invest about $845.1 million to finish the project in three years.

Sunvim and Johanna Solar are currently spending $262 million for Phase I construction of a 60-megawatt (MW) CIGSSe thin-film solar cell development and production project. Construction is expected to be complete on the first phase by the end of 2009.

Sunvim chose Johanna Solar as its partner after three years of research on several U.S. and German companies. Johanna Solar had finished a similar factory in September 2007. Johanna Solar CEO Jeroen Haberland said Sunvim's ideals and company structure match Johanna Solar's perfectly.

China's favorable policies toward clean energy have encouraged billions of dollars in investments in the polysilicon and related solar industries. China's polysilicon production is expected to jump before 2010, but experts predict that production could exceed China's domestic demand.


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