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Posted: December 15, 2008

Oil Company Total Invests $45 Million in Photovoltaic Thin Film Manufacturer

(Nanowerk News) Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy, today announced the company has signed bilateral R&D and cooperation agreements with Total, one of the largest publicly-traded integrated international oil and gas companies in the world. Konarka has secured $45 million in funding and Total will become the leading shareholder with its stake being slightly less than 20%.
Konarka will work on developing new components for their products with Total’s chemical subsidiaries – Atotech, Bostik, Hutchinson, Sartomer and Total Petrochemicals USA. Already present in solar energy through its interest in Photovoltech and Tenesol, Total intends to step up its crystalline silicon-based cell production. At the same time, it aims to grow in the thin film segment; which Konarka will help it to do.
“This is a very substantial and significant investment from a major global energy corporation,” commented Howard Berke, executive chairman and co-founder of Konarka. “This strategic alignment will give Konarka access to a new strength of resources, assets and operations from around the world. Through the agreements, Konarka will be very instrumental in helping Total to secure its future in solar energy by facilitating the growth of its solar thin film segment of the company’s renewable energy business.”
Following the transaction, Philippe Boisseau, president, Total Gas & Power, stated: "This investment positions Total strategically to secure the future of solar energy while expanding its technological portfolio."
“We look forward to working with Total’s five chemical subsidiaries on technical collaboration, as well as efficient operational procedures,” commented Rick Hess, president and CEO at Konarka. “Active in the area of solar energy for the past 20 years, Total also brings extensive expertise in carbon chemistry. The collaboration between the two companies will advance the deployment of solar power for more cost-efficient, renewable energy around the globe.”
Total is one of the world’s major oil and gas groups with activities in more than 130 countries. Its 96,000 employees put their expertise to work in every part of the industry – exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing, gas and power and trading. Total is working to keep the world supplied with energy, both today and tomorrow. The Group is also a first rank player in chemicals.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Konarka develops and manufactures solar plastic films that convert light to energy – anywhere. As the leading developer of polymer-based, organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors, Konarka has a broad portfolio of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished technical, scientific and manufacturing team. Manufactured at low cost and low energy consumption, the company's Power Plastic® technology is lightweight, flexible, scalable and adaptable for use in a variety of commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Konarka Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A. and has a full scale production manufacturing facility in New Bedford, Mass. U.S.A., with European headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, business development offices in Asia and a research and development facility in Austria. For additional information, visit
Source: Konarka (press release)
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