Oerlikon Solar To Open Plant In Singapore

January 15, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Oerlikon Solar announced that it is opening a new location in Singapore, which it said would boost its presence and proximity to customers in Asia, while continuing to expand production, development and support for its thin-film silicon solar energy products. The facility will initially employ approximately 100 people and is planned to be completed within a year.

"Asia is emerging as an important market for solar energy applications," says Dr. Uwe Krüger, CEO of the Oerlikon Group. "The new location will allow Oerlikon Solar to build the necessary capacity to expand its market-leading position."

The company claims that, according to market forecasts, Asia will grow to become one of the leading areas in the world for solar panel production. Based on recent announcements, the Asian capacity for solar panels produced will grow to more then 4 GWp (gigawatt peak) by 2010, which is more than double that of the US and Europe. With the recent announcements by CMC Magnetics and Auria Solar, Oerlikon Solar already has two important customers in key Asian markets.

"To meet end market solar demands in this growing region, it is essential that we are close to our customers with dedicated local resources, including development and production capabilities," stated Oerlikon Solar CEO Jeannine Sargent.

"Oerlikon’s decision in choosing Singapore to site its Asia manufacturing and R&D hub clearly demonstrates our rapid progress in developing the solar industry. This project is a significant boost to this growing sector, and shows how our existing strengths in manufacturing, particularly in precision engineering, have evolved to support exciting new areas", stated Ko Kheng Hwa, Managing Director of Singapore Economic Development Board.

Sargent commented, "Joint development programs will include process optimization and yield improvement for new solar solutions; and will be aligned with on-site customer training in realistic industrial conditions. The decision to set up in Singapore positions Oerlikon Solar to achieve its growth goals over the next few years and to offer our customers outstanding service and support."

Since the beginning of this year, Oerlikon Solar has operated as a separate segment of the Oerlikon Group.