Masdar PV a-Si thin-film plant in Germany to close



One of the last remaining a-Si thin-film manufacturing plants in production globally and the last in Germany is to close with the loss of 160 jobs at Masdar PV in Ichterhausen.

Owned by Mubadala Development Co of the UAE, Masdar PV had been a turnkey client of Applied Materials and had occasionally supplied various sizes of a-Si modules to both ground-mount and BIPV projects over the last five-years since production started in late 2009.

“We have the Masdar PV GmbH is continued despite ongoing losses in the hope that the situation would improve in the industry,” said Tushita Ranchan, CEO of Masdar PV GmbH. “Unfortunately, the situation has continued to deteriorate. We regret having to make this difficult decision.”

The company cited the significant collapse in conventional c-Si modules due to massive overcapacity for its inability to be competitive. However, overcapacity has eased significantly as global end market demand is expected to reach almost 50GW in 2014, yet a-Si thin film costs and efficiencies have lagged the mainstream market, causing the vast majority of a-Si module producers to close down operations in the last few years.

Masdar PV was expecting to become a supplier for PV power plant projects in the MENA region as well as continue to develop its BIPV business, both sector have suffered from long cycle times and limited project activity to date.

Masdar PV said it would handle all existing contracts until closing the facility by the end of 2014.

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