In an announcement today, Solarvalue has recognised that the schedule to ramp it’s Slovenia silicon facility has met financing and R+D set backs.
Solarvalue is now unlikely to ramp this facility to produce metallurgical grade silicon until 2009.
Recent studies on the pilot production line in the US by Evans Analytical Group and Balazs have found some issues with the crucibles being used.
Dr. Julio Bragagnolo, Chief Technology Officer of Solarvalue AG: “It made sense to us to start building the industrial scale production equipment in Slovenia only after having final specifications from the laboratory scale production facility in the U.S. However, we had several unexpected issues in developing the laboratory size production. Today, we are well on our way to completing this development. A severe problem was crucible breakage, which turned out to be a supplier issue, but took us several months to evaluate. To make sure that future industrial scale production will work efficiently and at moderate production cost we decided to build a test furnace that will give us the possibility to provide some hundred-kilogram samples to potential customers. We expect the furnace to be built in the near future.”
CEO, Claudia Boehringer, said “It is still our goal to produce solar grade silicon in our Slovenian production site… With our limited funds we are able to finance the planned test furnace. However, we are currently not able to finance the planned initial production capacity of 1,000 metric tons per year.”