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Updated: Qatar Solar Technologies plans US$1bn polysilicon plant; operations to commence in 2013

Update: It has emerged that the Qatar Solar Technologies company is a joint venture that comprises SolarWorld AG, Qatar Solar and the Qatar Development Bank. The JV was established in 2010 by SolarWorld with the intention of expanding the company's coverage of the solar value chain.

Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) has revealed that it will be constructing an 8,000 MTPY (metric tons per year) high-purity solar grade polysilicon manufacturing plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City, north-east Qatar. The approximately US$1 billion plant will be built on 1.2 million square metres of land, and is scheduled for completion towards the end of 2013.

The EPC contract for the project was awarded to the Gurgaon, India-based Punj Lloyd Group, which is already active in EPC contracts for Qatar’s oil and gas sector. The contract for technology and equipment supply for the facility was awarded to centrotherm in March 2010.

The plant’s future location was chosen because of its potential for expansion. This marks one of the first large polysilicon manufacturing projects undertaken by a Qatari company, as well as one of the first geographical shifts in the location of polysilicon production.

QSTec has been active in the development of manufacturing and research capabilities in the country. The new polysilicon plant is being constructed in the Ras Laffan Industrial City, an area that is largely centered on LNG (liquefied natural gas) refineries and exports.
Dr. Khalid K. Al Hajri, Board Member and CEO of QSTec said: “By utilizing Qatar’s resources today to make polysilicon, which in turn creates a variety of solar energy technologies and products, we are helping the global transformation towards a more diversified mix of clean energy solutions… In Qatar we have been blessed with energy both above and below surface. We have tapped the energy below the earth through our LNG exports and now we are looking to the sun with a vision to tapping its unlimited potential.”

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