Sunfilm AG & Sontor GmbH Merge To Manufacture Silicon-based Thin Film Modules

April 30, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Sunfilm AG and Sontor GmbH announced that they will merge to become one what they claim will be one of the world’s largest providers of tandem junction silicon based thin film modules. The new company will be named Sunfilm AG. Q-Cells SE, Good Energies and NorSun AS will be the shareholders of the new Sunfilm.

With an installed capacity of approximately 85 megawatts peak (MWp) at the two current production sites in Bitterfeld-Wolfen and Grossroehrsdorf (Germany), plus an additional 60MWp of capacity under construction in Grossroehrsdorf, Sunfilm states that it is already one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tandem junction silicon-based thin film modules.

"Thin film is one of the most significant growth areas within the photovoltaic industry. After the merger, the new Sunfilm will participate significantly in this growth and we will establish our company as both a driving force in the market and as a technology leader," said Wolfgang Heinze, Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sunfilm AG.

Sunfilm states that its size and market position will enable the company to create a competitive advantage through economies of scale, despite facing an increasingly crowded market. In addition, Sunfilm says that it can achieve a variety of cost savings, including those from synergies in purchasing and those from consolidation of overlapping segments. The combined expertise in research and development is also said to form an additional clear competitive advantage. As a result, Sunfilm can accelerate the further development of thin film technology and reduce production costs for solar energy in the midterm.

"Sunfilm will take a top position in research and development and will significantly advance the technology of solar modules with an even higher performance," according to Dr. Torsten Brammer, Chief Scientist and member of the Executive Board of the new Sunfilm.

Q-Cells, the sole owner of Sontor, will hold 50% of the new Sunfilm shares. Q-Cells is a leader within the global photovoltaic industry and states that it is the world’s largest producer of solar cells. Good Energies will hold about 35% of the new company and about 15% will be owned by NorSun.