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7 November 2007


First Solar adds fourth CdTe PV plant in Malaysia following new long-term module supply agreements

First Solar Inc of Phoenix, AZ, USA, which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), has entered into new long-term module supply agreements with a subsidiary of Babcock & Brown (a global investment fund and asset management firm based in Australia) and Ecostream Switzerland GmbH (a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Econcern BV that focuses on developing solutions for sustainable energy supply).

The new agreements, which are structured on terms similar to First Solar’s existing long-term supply agreements, expand contracted module volume by a total of 557MW, allowing for additional sales of about $1bn (at an assumed exchange rate of $1.30/ € 1.00 over the period 2008-2012).

To meet the demand expected from the sales contracts, First Solar’s board of directors has approved the construction of a fourth manufacturing plant with four production lines in Kulim Hi Tech Park, Kedah, Malaysia. This will bring the total number of lines at its Malaysian Manufacturing Center to 16. The new plant is scheduled to start production in second-half 2009 and will be built adjacent to the three previously announced plants currently under construction, which will have annual production capacities of 120MW of solar modules each (totaling 480MW together).

The announcement comes just over five weeks after First Solar said that it was adding the third plant, which is expected to cost about $150m and to start production in first-half 2009. That followed the announcement in July of several new long-term supply agreements with solar energy system makers in Europe. First Solar announced the first of the four-line solar module plants in January and broke ground in April (expecting completion by late 2007 and full volume production by end 2008).

First Solar already operates factories in Perrysburg, near Toledo, OH, USA as well as Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany (inauguration in July), with collective annual production capacity of 210MW.

See related items:

First Solar adds third CdTe PV plant to Malaysia expansion

SoloPower raises $30m in funding following $2.37m DoE grant award

Ascent Solar raises over $20m from warrant conversion

Emerging PV technologies growing at 43% annually

Thin-film solar cell equipment market to grow by almost 300%

Search: Cadmium telluride Thin-film photovoltaic