12 November 2020
5N Plus secures multi-year supply contracts with First Solar
Engineered materials and specialty chemicals producer 5N Plus Inc of Montreal, Québec, Canada has secured multi-year contracts for the supply of semiconductor materials for the manufacture of cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules by First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA. The terms of the contracts are structured asymmetrically, with lower volumes anticipated in the earlier period of the contract.
5N Plus provides purified metals such as bismuth, gallium, germanium, indium, selenium and tellurium, and also produces related II-VI semiconducting compounds such as cadmium telluride (CdTe), cadmium sulphide (CdS) and indium antimonide (InSb) as precursors for the growth of crystals for solar, LED and eco-friendly materials applications.
5N Plus has been a key supplier of semiconductor materials to First Solar since 2007 and over this period several long-term contracts have been signed and executed. During this period 5N Plus has become the leading supplier of engineered semiconductor compounds to the thin-film renewable energy industry, it is claimed.
5N Plus’ semiconductor materials are incorporated in First Solar’s Series 6 module, which is said to have a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower and a water footprint that is up to 24 times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels. Given that a large portion of 5N Plus’ production activity related to these semiconductor compounds is powered by renewable energy, Series 6 modules produced with 5N Plus semiconductor thin-film materials deliver the lowest carbon solar available, it is claimed.
“5N Plus recognizes that economics will largely govern the rate of growth in renewable energy sector. Consistent with this view, the company has continued to invest in process and product technologies, aiming to optimize the balance between cost and performance of its engineered semiconductor compounds used in thin-film solar technology,” says Nicholas Audet, executive VP – Electronic Materials. “The specialty semiconductor market continues to be a natural growth space for our company as we further expand our portfolio of advanced engineered materials based on unique value propositions desired by our customers across a broad spectrum of applications,” he adds.