Press release BoxID: 110487 (Bosch Solar Energy AG)
  • Bosch Solar Energy AG
  • August-Broemel-Strasse 6
  • 99310 Arnstadt

ersol Solar Cells celebrates topping-out ceremony for second solar cell factory in Arnstadt

(PresseBox) (Erfurt, ) .

- Development of additional nominal capacity of 120 MWp by the end of 2008
- Investment of approx. € 46 million for new cell plant

ersol’s Solar Cells division is today celebrating its topping-out ceremony, together with Thuringia’s premier Dieter Althaus (CDU) and numerous local politicians, for its new solar cell production facility in Arnstadt. In addition to its production site in Erfurt, the ersol Group is establishing a factory there for crystalline silicon solar cells. The planned investment volume totals around € 46 million. This year, the planned investments of the ersol Group total almost € 120 million. “We are very happy to be taking this decisive step in building our second cell plant. The production of mono- and multicrystalline silicon solar cells has always been, and remains, at the core of the ersol Group. The capacity this will generate for us brings us steadily closer to our expansion target of 400 MWp capacity by the end of 2010“, explains Dr. Claus Beneking, CEO of ersol Solar Energy AG, of the Company’s future capacity expansion.

On a plot of land of about 41,000 square metres, the photovoltaic company is currently building a production facility of approximately 10,100 square metres. M+W Zander FE GmbH is building a turn-key production building that only requires equipping with the corresponding production machinery. Züblin Ost, from Jena, is a subcontracted Thuringian firm responsible for the building shell for the new plant. By the end of 2007, it is anticipated that this new plant will provide 100 MWp, and one year later 120 MWp, of nominal capacity. This would give the ersol Group a nominal capacity of 220 MWp for crystalline solar cells in 2008 at its Arnstadt and Erfurt sites.

Construction of the new cell plant began in December of the previous year. “After the topping-out ceremony, construction work will continue apace. The first pieces of equipment, if everything runs according to plan, can already be delivered from the end of May, and be commissioned as early as July“, says Dr. Rüdiger Schulz, Technical Director at ersol Solar Cells, of the Arnstadt cell plant, and continues: “We then hope to reach maximum capacity during 2008.“

The Arnstadt site, in the German state of Thuringia, will also work a four-shift operation, seven days a week. On a phased basis, the Arnstadt factory will see the creation of more than 150 permanent positions. ersol can meet its human resources requirements thanks to a successful cooperation with the Erfurt-based BWAW educational institution and the Agentur für Arbeit (German employment agency). In the medium-term, the Company wants to see policy-makers pay more attention to the need for skilled staff in the up-and-coming solar industry. “We will need even more qualified personnel from the region, such as microtechnologists and engineers, for our future expansion projects. As representatives of the solar industry, we would like to see more attention being paid to these jobs, especially where classical initial vocational training positions are concerned. Unfortunately, there is still not enough awareness of these job descriptions, in such a prosperous sector, among students“, says Beneking in an appeal to politicians and the community as a whole. Beneking is also responsible for the area of human resources.