Posted: August 17, 2009

RUSNANO/Renova Nano Solar Joint Venture Orders Production Equipment From Oerlikon

(Nanowerk News) Nano Solar Technology Ltd. (NST), a newly formed Russian High-tech firm, has ordered a 120 MW end-to-end Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph® line for production of thin film solar modules. NST is a Joint Venture between Renova Group and the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO). With the envisaged production capacity of one million solar modules annually, this is the largest equipment order in the worldwide thin film silicon photovoltaic (PV) market in 2009 to-date.
The order includes Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph® technology which raises module efficiency by up to 50 percent over prior generation technologies. The equipment will be delivered in 2010 to the new site currently under construction in Novocheboksarsk (Chuvash Republic). The start of production is scheduled for 2011.
“Oerlikon Solar emerged from a thorough evaluation process to identify the best technology partner for our project, because of its leading technology” said Yaroslav Kuznetsov (no relation to OC Oerlikon’s Chairman), CEO of NST. “This is a win-win situation for all parties involved. Oerlikon Solar can establish a strong presence in the Russian market and the Russian economy has made another step as a state-of-the-art production site”, continued Yaroslav Kuznetsov. Establishing production of thin film solar modules in the Chuvash Republic is part of RUSNANO’s strategy to develop the high tech economy in Russia by co-investing in nanotechnology industry projects. Through acting as a catalyst for private co-investments, RUSNANO aims at creating conditions favourable to developing cutting edge nanotechnology in Russia, the joint venture with Renova being a good example.
“The solar module production will catalyze growth of Russian high-technology ventures involved in the production cycle of NST. The company will create approximately 300 new direct jobs, and about a thousand indirect jobs will be stimulated in related branches such as production of glass and clean gases” said Chairman of NST and RUSNANO Managing Director Sergey Polikarpov.
In addition to the planned production line, RUSNANO plans to set up a major research center that will focus on increasing the effectiveness of the solar modules in cooperation with the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
NST will deliver Micromorph® PV modules to serve the growing market for solar PV applications. The company will address PV markets such as Spain, Italy, Greece and Germany. Avelar Energy Group (part of the RENOVA Group), which installs and adjusts solar modules in Europe, will handles product sales. In the long term, the Russian market is aimed to take a substantial part of NST sales.
According to a recently published study by New Energy Finance, new investments in clean energy worldwide rallied in the second quarter of 2009, reaching USD 24.3bn., almost double the amount invested worldwide during Q1 2009. According to New Energy Finance, this improving trend in Q2 was led by investments in asset finance for large solar and wind energy projects.
Nano Solar Technology Ltd. is a joint venture between Rusnano and Renova. Rusnano CEO Anatoly Chubais and Renova Chairman Victor Vekselberg signed an agreement founding the company during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2009. Total investment in the company is 20.1 billion rubles. RUSNANO contributes 3.7 billion rubles to the equity of the new company and will offer company a loan of 9.8 billion rubles. RUSNANO holds a 49% equity share in the project company. RENOVA owns a 51% stake and is responsible for development of the business.
Renova Group is a leading privately owned Russian business group, possessing and managing assets in metallurgical, oil, ore mining, chemical, construction industries, energy, telecommunications, hi-tech engineering, utility services and financial sector in Russia and abroad (CIS countries, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa and USA). Largest Renova Group assets are participation interests in TNK-BP, UC RUSAL, IES, as well as in Swiss OC Oerlikon and Sulzer technology groups, where Renova Group is a major shareholder.
Oerlikon Solar offers field proven equipment and end-to-end manufacturing lines for the mass production of thin film silicon solar modules. Engineered to reduce device cost and maximize productivity, its end-to-end solutions are fully automated, high yield, high uptime, and low maintenance.
The production lines are complete systems, yet modular and upgradeable in both throughput and process technology. As a global leader in thin film PV technology, the company provides its customers with extensive experience in both amorphous and high-efficiency Micromorph® tandem technology.
Oerlikon Solar is ranked “global number one solar turnkey line supplier” by VLSI and has been named winner of the 2009 CELL AWARD for the ”best technical product for thin film module manufacturing”. Oerlikon Solar is headquartered in Switzerland, has over 750 employees in 13 locations world wide and maintains sales and service centers in the USA, Europe and China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Japan.
Source: RUSNANO (press release)
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