Enel takes full control of 3Sun thin-film venture



Italy’s Enel Green Power has confirmed it is to take full ownership of the 3Sun thin-film joint venture it had originally created with Sharp and STMicroelectronics.

The company has revealed that STMicroelectronics is to pay €15 million (US$20 million) to release itself from any obligations under the 3Sun venture.

This follows a similar deal reached with Sharp earlier this month, in which the Japanese corporation paid Enel €95 million (US$128 million) to pull out of the partnership. Sharp’s withdrawal is part of the company’s broader retreat from the European PV market, which it has found to be decreasingly profitable.

The 3Sun JV was established in 2010 to produce a-Si thin-film modules at a 300MW STMicroelectronics facility in Catania, Italy. Under the original JV off-take agreement, Sharp and Enel were contracted to buy 3Sun's full output.

Enel’s full ownership of 3Sun means it will buy 100% of the factory’s output, which currently runs at around 200MW a year.

The company said the modules are well suited to high-temperature applications and would be used in projects the it is planning between now and 2018 in Latin America and South Africa. In South Africa, Enel has a PV project pipeline of 300MW.

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