Q-Cells To Open Factory In Malaysia; Reports Strong Growth

February 20, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Q-Cells AG, of Thalheim, Germany, announced plans to increase its solar cell production with a new plant in Malaysia. The news comes as the company, which claims that it is now the world’s largest manufacturer of solar cells, released preliminary 2007 results, reporting a 59% rise in sales.

Sales grew 59% to €859 million (about $1.253 billion). Operating profit rose 52% to €197 million. Net profit came in 69% higher than last year with €148 million. Q-Cells increased its production in 2007 to 389.2MW.

The Malaysia production line would be the company’s seventh and is set for a maximum capacity of more than 300MW. Q-Cells did not disclose how much the new plant would cost (media releases in the Malaysian press quote trade minister Rafidah Aziz saying that the investment will be somewhat higher than 1 billion Ringgit – about $307 million. The first phase of construction, with a capacity of 160MW, is scheduled to ramp up production in the first quarter of 2009.

The company also plans to boost manufacturing of thin film modules at its Calyxo subsidiary in Germany. Q-Cells said the unit, which makes thin film modules based on cadmium telluride technology, will boost its production to 60MW, up from the 25MW currently under construction. The additional Calyxo production is expected to start up in the second quarter of 2009.