Schweizer Eyes Asia Photovoltaics Market
SCHRAMBERG, Germany, Dec. 5, 2011 — Schweizer Electronic AG has entered the Asian photovoltaics market as part of a business diversification strategy. A manufacturer of printed circuit boards, the electronics company offers solutions and services for the automotive and other industries.
Schweizer Energy, the business division founded in spring 2011, will operate a plant in Nantong, China, with up to four 100-MW production lines. Production of high-efficiency photovoltaic modules is planned for 2013.
The investment for the first production line amounts to USD50 million to $60 million, the company said. By investing anticyclically, it plans to participate in the expected positive development of the photovoltaics market.
Dr. Marc Schweizer, CEO, said that now is the right time for the company to enter the solar business. “With our planned production line, we are excellently positioned to directly meet future demands.”
However, photovoltaics production faces challenges: Optimum process technology and high-production yields must be guaranteed. Applying next-generation equipment is necessary to counteract the pressure to reduce the cost of cells while increasing efficiency, the company said.
Cells and modules will feature an efficiency greater than 19 percent in the first stage and greater than 20 percent in the second stage and will offer an excellent cost-to-performance ratio, the company said.
The production lines will be set up in a modular way to allow integration of the latest processing steps. The technology will also reduce the consumption of raw materials.
Schmid Group of Freudenstadt, a photovoltaics company, will be the strategic technology partner for the first production line. A longtime equipment supplier for Schweizer Electronic AG, Schmid specializes in wafer, cell and module production.
The planned production plant will also employ contact-free HiMet metallization technology with laser transfer and nanoparticle inkjet printing.
Within the photovoltaics sector, Asia is an emerging market. The attractive site and overall logistics were key in selecting Nantong, as was the city’s investment agreement.
The company also is working on setting up its own sales channels in Asia. Schweizer Energy will serve as systems integrator of solar parks and will monitor sales and operation.
For this part of the business, Ralos New Energies AG of Griesheim will be Schweizer’s cooperating partner. Ralos develops, builds and operates innovative photovoltaics parks, predominantly in Europe, covering system sizes ranging from private solar systems to high-performance, large-scale power plants.
The company also has succeeded in closing two memorandas of understanding with the joint venture Sino Singapore regarding projected solar parks in two “eco cities” in China: Guangzhou Knowledge City and Nanjing Eco Hightec Island.
For more information, visit: www.schweizer.ag
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