SCHOTT Solar officially opens new module production facilities in Valašské Meziříčí (CZ)

Date: 28 May 2008
Source: SCHOTT Solar
*Significance of new location increases considerably *Capacity expected to more than quadruple with three new production lines by the end of 2008 *Investment volume planned at € 50 million Alzenau/Valašské Meziříčí, 14 May 2008 – In response to the growing demand for high-quality, powerful and durable solar modules, SCHOTT Solar has decided to significantly expand its production facilities in Valašské Meziříčí within a short period of time: the new production lines with modern logistics were officially opened today, with more than 230 honorary guests in attendance.

The expansion project begun in July 2007 commands an investment volume of approx. 50 million euros. By the end of the year, the annual production capacity is expected to more than quadruple to 200 megawatts. On some 20,000 square meters, SCHOTT Solar will now manufacture solar modules for the entire European market in the Czech Republic.

SCHOTT Solar started to produce modules in Valašské Meziříčí about three years ago. Just one year after the investment was approved and in less than eight months after the cornerstone was laid, the factory in the northeast of the Czech Republic went into operation with a production capacity of more than 40 megawatts per year in June 2005 – a pioneering investment in a future-oriented technology, for which SCHOTT Solar received an award from Czech Invest, an investment promotion agency. With the completion of the second construction phase as expected at the end of 2008, the number of employees in the state-of-the-art production facilities will increase by about 400. According to current plans, SCHOTT Solar will produce more than one million solar modules a year on five production lines in this facility.

After the opening of the European Union to the east, Valašské Meziříčí, which is a traditional center for the Czech glass and chemical industry and continues to develop as a solar city with the help of SCHOTT Solar, is a strategically important location. The workforce has the experts to offer that the industry requires; the infrastructure is exemplary. And thanks to an early feed-in tariff law, the Czech Republic is one of the leaders of the new EU states in the renewable energies. At this location, SCHOTT Solar also profits from the saving potential and synergy effects of a combined location: three business units of the SCHOTT Group also have production facilities in Valašské Meziříčí, in which such products as flat glass and fiber-optic components are produced.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Udo Ungeheuer, chairman of the SCHOTT AG Management Board said at the opening: “In the future, Valašské Meziříčí will play a greater role than ever in our strategy to cover the entire value-added chain of producing wafers − in cooperation with our WACKER SCHOTT Solar joint venture – as well as cells and modules in our own production facilities.”

Dr. Martin Heming, member of the Corporate Management Committee and Managing Director of SCHOTT Solar GmbH, continued: “The ease with which we have set up our Czech production facilities and the increasing demand for solar modules internationally are arguments that speak in favor of our expansion in Valašské Meziříčí. Here we find good prerequisites to produce high-quality products under competitive conditions.”

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SCHOTT POLY™ and SCHOTT EFG™ are registered trademarks of SCHOTT Solar GmbH.

SCHOTT Solar high quality products utilize the potential of the sun as an inexhaustible source of energy. And it’s for exactly that reason that SCHOTT Solar produces important components for photovoltaic applications and solar energy plants. In the photovoltaic industry, the company is one of the few fully integrated manufacturers of crystalline silicon wafers, cells and modules. The production of the wafers is ensured by the WACKER SCHOTT Solar joint venture, which secures the supply of silicon for the growing demand in the long term. In thin-film technology, SCHOTT Solar is also a leading supplier. And in the production of receivers for solar power plants, SCHOTT Solar sees itself as a market and technology leader. The receivers are key components in large-scale power plants that generate electricity from solar energy centrally on the basis of parabolic trough technology and are able to supply entire cities with power. SCHOTT Solar has production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA and Spain. The innovative power and technological competence of the company date back to the late 1950s. SCHOTT Solar GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international SCHOTT technology group. SCHOTT AG develops special materials, components and systems for the household appliance, pharmaceutical, solar energy, electronics, optical and automotive industries. With a total of 16,700 employees, the SCHOTT Group generated a worldwide turnover of 2.1 billion euros in fiscal year 2006/2007.

Press pictures can be downloaded at www.schott-pictures.net

600450 SCHOTT Solar officially opens new module production facilities in Valašské Meziříčí (CZ) glassonweb.com

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