German firm Arise ramping output for Si and PV cells

Apr. 11, 2008 – Arise Technologies says it is increasing photovoltaic (PV) cell production targets at its facility in Bischofswerda, Germany, by 56% to 560MW by 2010. The site is expected to commence manufacturing later this month, using off-the-shelf technology on its first line to produce 35MW of cells, with >15% efficiencies. A second line will be designed and built by OTB Solar BV (Netherlands), with production slated for 1Q09 for cells with >18% efficiency (when fully optimized), increasing the plant’s total capacity to 80MW annually. Ten additional lines are planned through 2012 (vs. eight in the original plans), with a progression to >20% cell efficiency.

Meanwhile, Arise says it is proceeding with plans to locate a new high-purity silicon production plant in Canada (site not yet chosen) by 2011, to ramp to a 10,000 ton/year capacity, providing material needed for the company’s planned increase in PV cell output. Expansions also are planned for an existing Si pilot plant operation in Waterloo, Ontario, which will ramp to 50 tons/year in 2009 and 400 tons/year in 2010. A silicon refining furnace (v 3.1) was commissioned at the site in August 2007, after 143 months of test runs; the silicon feedstock mini pilot plant went operation in December. Target is 7N+ high-purity Si to make the planned PV cells with >20% efficiencies.

“Based on the quality of the silicon material being produced at the Waterloo SiRF operation, we have the confidence to proceed with planning for our first full-scale silicon production plant in Canada,” said Bart Tichelman, Arise president/CEO, in a statement. He added that the silicon expansions in Canada are “integral to our expectations for future profitability levels.”


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