ersol enters the gigawatt range
- Largest silicon agreement in ersol's history signed
- From 2010, this material will allow the additional production of approximately 1.8 gigawatt peak in total over 10 years
- Capital increase for proportionate financing of the capacity expansion and contract downpayments
- Placement of up to 10% of the share capital
- Subscription period from 2 to 17 July 2007, subscription ratio 10:1
Early this morning, ersol Solar Energy AG (ersol) signed the most extensive agreement to date for the supply of silicon in the history of the Thuringian solar company with Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation (HSC). HSC is the world's largest manufacturer of high purity polycrystalline silicon for the solar and semiconductor industry. The contract will enable ersol to generate an additional production volume of about 1.8 gigawatt peak (GWp) in total from 2010 onwards for ten years. The silicon price has been fixed for the entire term of the contract. It is provided that ersol will make downpayments in the two-digit millions of euros, which will later be offset in the form of a purchase price reduction when the raw material is supplied.
"We are delighted to conclude what is now our second long-term silicon supply agreement this year. With Hemlock, we are not just having an established player in the silicon business on our list of business partners, the company is also the largest producer of this scarce raw material. This major contract is an enormous success for our company," explained ersol's CEO Dr. Claus Beneking after the signing. "We remain convinced that the signing of long-term supply agreements for silicon supplies is the right strategy to counter what we believe will be a sustained raw materials shortage, and to secure the Company's further growth as far as possible," adds Jürgen Pressl, ersol Board member with responsibility for the Silicon and Wafers segments, as he outlines the perspective of the Thuringian solar company. These silicon volumes from HSC will form the starting point for ersol's continued expansion activities beyond the 220 MWp in the crystalline area already forecast by the end of 2008. Beneking looks to the future: "This now puts a nominal capacity of around 500 MWp in 2012 within our reach". The ersol Group wants to raise the funds required for its further expansion by, among other things, performing a capital increase of up to 10% and today has also, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, decided to increase the Company's share capital by up to EUR 1,847,048.00 by partially exercising the authorised capital.
The Company's share capital will hereby be increased from EUR 19,600,000.00 to up to EUR 21,447,048.00 by issuing up to 923,524 new ersol shares against cash contributions. The new shares will be offered to ersol shareholders by the issuing bank HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG in the period from 2 to 17 July 2007 by way of indirect subscription rights. ersol Solar Energy AG expects to specify the final subscription price for the new shares on 12 July 2007. The issuing price and allocation of the shares will then be published separately.
The subscription ratio will be 10:1, that is, one new share can be purchased for every ten ersol shares held. No trading in subscription rights is planned. Following the subscription period, any new shares that are not purchased will be offered by the underwriting bank to qualified investors as part of a private placement.
The major shareholder Ventizz Capital Fund II LP has already agreed to purchase new shares in line with its interest in ersol's share capital (50.41%). "We were delighted with this decision taken by our majority shareholder, which proves its commitment to ersol yet again," says Ekhard von Dewitz, ersol's CFO. Explaining the reasons for the Company's capitalisation measure, von Dewitz says "The capital increase gives us the necessary latitude to proportionately finance our continued strong growth in the years ahead and to fund the downpayments that must be made for the long-term silicon supply agreements we have concluded". Addressing ersol's shareholders, he says: "I think that the flexibility this affords us is good for your company."
However, the consistently high demand also justifies the PV company's growth plans. ersol has already shown in the last few weeks that sales of its high-performance solar cells "made in Erfurt" continue to be very strong. The Company is already in discussions with interested parties from all around the world concerning the sale of the products that are processed from the new Hemlock material. "We are very confident that we can prove our successes on the purchasing side on the sales side as well, and expect comparable results to the contracts already concluded in the preceding weeks," concludes Beneking.
Bosch Solar Energy AG
ersol Solar Energy AG produces and markets high-quality silicon-based photovoltaic products. The Group comprises the divisions Silicon, Wafers, Solar Cells and Modules. With sales of € 128 million in financial year 2006, the Thuringia-based company is one of the leading companies in the solar industry. Listed since 30 September 2005 on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the young ersol share had already been added to the TecDAX on 19 December 2005. Currently the ersol Group has more than 500 employees.
The Company's main goal is to establish itself even more strongly as a manufacturer of high-quality silicon solar cells and to account for a disproportionate slice of the anticipated growth in the photovoltaic industry. To achieve this, ersol concentrates presently on technologically demanding stages of the value chain for photovoltaic plants, and in particular on the production of wafers and solar cells. The Company's supply of silicon raw material is based on several pillars. To the dominant part it is secured by long-term supply agreements with leading polysilicon producers. The company-internal recycling capacities within the Silicon division deliver an important additional contribution. The silicon is processed within the Wafers segment. The monocrystalline wafers manufactured there are preliminary products for the manufacturing of highly-efficient silicon solar cells within the Solar Cells segment. Since early 2006 the Company has been delivering a part of its solar cells for the production of solar modules to the joint venture Shanghai Electric Solar Energy Co. Ltd. (SESE) in which the ersol Group has a 35% holding. The sales of these and other photovoltaic modules are handled in part by the Modules business segment. In the future, this business segment is planned to also include the Company's own module production, scheduled for 2009. Furthermore, ersol develops the silicon saving thin-film technology within the Modules segment. Here, a production facility for silicon thin-film modules is under construction.
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