CIGS thin-film firm DayStar Technologies running out of money, could file for bankruptcy soon

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DayStar Technologies, a copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide thin-film PV developer based in Santa Clara, CA, is running out of money. Although the company posted a smaller net loss in its just-announced second-quarter results than it experienced in the first quarter and the value of its net property and equipment has risen to $50 million because of increased investment during the period, its cash and cash equivalents have dwindled to $1.3 million.

As a result of its financial woes, DayStar says it will need “substantial funds in the near term” to continue operations, ramp its first production line, and begin shipping products, and a failure to raise such monies may result in the company declaring bankruptcy and possibly shutting down part or all of its operations. 

In DayStar’s 10-Q report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the CIGS firm says that “commercialization efforts, including the completion and ramp-up of the company’s initial module production line requires significant additional capital expenditures as well as associated continued development and administrative costs. In order to continue operations, including its development efforts utilizing its preproduction line, fully build out its initial manufacturing line and commence commercial shipments of its product, the company requires immediate and substantial additional capital beyond its current cash on hand.”

“To date, the Company has been unable to raise additional capital or complete an agreement with an investor or strategic partner,” the filing continues. “Although the company continues to seek strategic investors or partners, in light of its current cash position, the company implemented a reduction in its workforce of approximately 30% during the second quarter of 2009 and may in the near term be forced to cease or substantially curtail operations.”

“An inability to raise additional funding in the very near term may cause the company to file a voluntary petition for reorganization under the United States Bankruptcy Code, liquidate assets, and/or pursue other such actions that could adversely affect future operations,” the DayStar 10-Q states. “Given current market conditions and available opportunities, there is substantial doubt as to the company’s ability to complete a financing in the time frame required to remain in operation. A wide variety of factors relating to the company and external conditions could adversely affect its ability to secure additional funding and the terms of any funding that it secures.”

DayStar has a proprietary one-step sputter process that it says can continuously deposit high-efficiency CIGS films over large-area glass substrates. The company claims the approach can meet the sub-$1-per-watt manufacturing cost threshold at a capacity scale of 100MW or more, including the achievement of commercial module efficiencies better than 13%.

The CIGS company has begun building out its first 25MW module production line and has a contract with solar PV integrator Blitzstrom to buy at least half of its production run through 2011, as long as the modules meet the proper performance criteria.



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