Sachsen-Anhalt presents itself a centre of European float glass and solar cell production in Düsseldorf

Date: 24 October 2008
Source: Sachsen-Anhalt
This year’s major global glass industry trade fair – Glasstec – is devoted to photovoltaics and solar thermal energy.

Over 1000 exhibitors present new thin-layer modules and building integration methods in Düsseldorf from 21 to 25 October. Also companies and universities from Saxony-Anhalt will exhibits novelties from industry and academia. The Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt (IMG) has seized the opportunity to attract further investments to Saxony-Anhalt.

„Saxony-Anhalt is home to ‘Solar Valley’ one of the world’s key solar industry centres. The state government identified the potential of this ‘sunrise industry’ early and spent quite some amounts in public grants to support new sitings and expansions. This pays off now“, said Minister of Economics Dr. Reiner Haseloff. The solar sector also radiates to other industries. „Saxony-Anhalt has meanwhile also developed into a centre of European float glass industry.“

Following completion of the new plant of f I glass GmbH in Osterweddingen – a JV of Scheuten and Interpane – Saxony-Anhalt will boast four float glass mills from 2009. Their combined outputs will make up about one third of German and one tenth of float glass production. „Our sales area is the whole European market“, said Herbert Köhler, MD of f | glass GmbH. „We decided on Saxony-Anhalt because everything slips into place here – from feedstock supplies to logistics access. But the finally decisive factors were the framework conditions at the site and the remarkably good support by all parties concerned.“

Besides f I glass GmbH with an annual production of 255,000 tons of float glass and clear glass for solar applications, Euroglas GmbH in Haldensleben (220,000t/a) and Osterweddingen (250,000t/a) as well as Guardian in Wolfen/Thalheim (250,000t/a) are already active in Saxony-Anhalt. This concentration s not only owed to the excellent availability of raw materials – Saxony-Anhalt has three quartz sand and two soda production sites – but also to the high innovation potential in the solar sector.

Only recently, a joint initiative by the states of Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt (lead) was among the five winners in the first round of the Excellence Cluster Competition launched by the Federal Research Ministry (BMBF). 29 companies and 14 research institutions – including the presently established Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP in Halle – formed the ‘Solar Valley Central Germany’ to bundle their potentials. The award comes with research grants totalling 40 million euros that will be received over the next five years. The jury decision acknowledges the Central German solar industry’s exemplary link between economy and academia.

Central Germany is already one of the leading solar regions in the world. Two thirds of German solar production firms are located there – making 80 per cent of German and 16 per cent of worldwide produced solar cells. The core of the ‘Solar Valley’ is situated around Halle-Bitterfeld. One out of ten solar cells manufactured worldwide is the made in Saxony-Anhalt. Q-Cells AG – the world’s largest solar cell producer – is based in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. A total of ten solar companies employing some 3,000 people were operating in Saxony-Anhalt by end-2007.

Further exhibitors from Saxony-Anhalt include, e.g. Wirth GmbH Landsberg in hall 12/C 33. The 35-strong firm was founded in 1992 and displays various variants of its vacuum lifting devices to hoist heavy loads, such as glass panes: the appliances are marketed as stand-alone units or attachments to cranes and forklifts. At glasstec managing director Holger Schadwinkel hopes to interest international customers for his products.

„We already have an export rate of 70 per cent and distribution partners in 15 countries“, he underlined. Innovative marking and identification systems for glass are exhibited by experts of boraident GmbH at their stand D 78 in hall 11. Apart from manufacturer, logo or standard-related information the Halle-based firm is capable of encoding dynamic data, such as product IDs or batch numbers, in a machine code and apply with non-destructive laser technologies to glass surfaces or interiors. This enables traceability of a given product during manufacturing and after delivery, boraident MD Dr. Thomas Rainer points out. „We also offer matching reading device and thus ensure process safety.“ This marking system is being employed during production of safety glass and solar glass. Euroglas Deutschland presents its know-how and expertise as float glass producer and refiner at glasstec. In hall 11, stand E 21, the company provides insights into its production in Haldensleben and Osterweddingen. Also the Institute for Physics of Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg is among the exhibitors from Saxony-Anhalt.

Please, direct any questions to the Press Office of the Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt on phone no. +49 (0) 391/ 567-7076 or via e-mail to information at: or 

Contact at Glasstec: Investitions- und Marketinggesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH Andrea Voss Senior Manager Tel. + 49 (0) 391 568 9929 Fax. + 49 (0) 391 566 9950 Mobil: 01515/2626462 E-Mail: 

600450 Sachsen-Anhalt presents itself a centre of European float glass and solar cell production in Düsseldorf

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