Meyer Burger Selects German Locations For PV Production

Meyer Burger To Produce 400 MW Solar Cells At Former Sovello Site & 400 MW SmartWire Modules At Former Solarworld Fab In Germany
07:00 PM (Beijing Time) - 10. July 2020
Meyer Burger solar technology-PNG

Meyer Burger is pinning its hopes to turn itself into a solar cell and module manufacturer from a machine supplier on successful implementation of its planned ordinary capital increase to be approved by company shareholders. (Photo Credit: Meyer Burger Technology Ltd.)

Key Takeaways

  • Former Sovello solar cell production site in Bitterfeld-Wolfen in Germany to be the location for Meyer Burger to produce its high efficiency solar cells with 400 MW annual capacity
  • Solarworld’s Freiberg location is where Meyer Burger wants to start producing its SmartWire solar modules, also with 400 MW annual capacity from H1/2021
  • From Solarworld, Meyer Burger will also buy its modern logistics and distribution center in Freiberg
  • While at Sovello site, Meyer Burger can rent additional space if it wants to expand capacity, the SolarWorld site already has an annual nominal capacity of over 600 MW and can be expanded to over 800 MW with new technologies

Meyer Burger Technology Ltd. has revealed the German cities of Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt) and Freiberg (Saxony) as the locations for its planned 800 MW solar cell and module production strategy under which it guides to an eventual 5 GW annual production capacity, all ‘Made in Europe’. Investing in existing PV production infrastructure, it says, will ensure short ramp-up times and high product quality. Production at both these locations formerly operated by now bankrupt German solar companies is planned to begin in H1/2021.

Solar cell production

The Bitterfeld-Wolfen location panning an area of 27,000 m2 has been rented from former solar cell manufacturer Sovello on a long-term and cost-effective basis. Meyer Burger will manufacture high-efficiency solar cells with annual production capacity of 400 MW using its proprietary heterojunction (HJT) technology at this facility. Here it can rent additional space to expand capacity if required.

Solar module production

These cells will then be further processed into its patent-protected SmartWire modules some 150 km away at the Freiberg location in a production facility spread across 19,000 m2 owned by the former Solarworld Group. Meyer Burger says this location remains the ‘largest and most modern plant of its kind in Europe’ offering optimal conditions to convert and adapt existing infrastructure, and highly automated module production lines.

The Solarworld fab has an annual nominal capacity of over 600 MW with potential to expand it to more than 800 MW with new technologies.

At the same time, Meyer Burger is also acquiring the modern logistics and distribution center at the former Solarworld site in Freiberg with 14,000 m2 space. Solarworld Insolvency Administrator Christoph Neiring who decided to auction the company’s machines at Freiberg location after it failed to attract any takeover bids early last year, has been requested by Meyer Burger management not to disclose the purchase price of its transaction.

Solarworld Industries GmbH creditors need to approve the purchase agreement of the Freiberg sites first.

Realization of all these plans to turn the company from a machine supplier to a solar cell and module manufacturer, however, depends on the successful implementation of the Switzerland based company’s planned ordinary capital increase with targeted gross proceeds at CHF 165 million for which shareholder approval is needed due to be discussed on July 10, 2020. This transaction is likely to be completed by the end of July 2020.

Shravan Chunduri

Shravan Chunduri is Head of Technology at TaiyangNews.

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Shravan Chunduri