Masdar PV’s ‘unused’ SunFab thin-film line up for grabs in auction

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The closure of Masdar PV’s a-Si thin-film operations that were announced in May, 2014 has subsequently and inevitably led to the sale of the production line equipment, which will take place in an online auction conducted by Maynards on October 8.

Interestingly, Maynards used the word “unused” to describe the 60MW Applied Materials ‘SunFab’ line at Masdar PV’s facility in Germany. 

The closure of Masdar PV’s a-Si thin-film operations that were announced in May, 2014 has subsequently and inevitably led to the sale of the production line equipment, which will take place in an online auction conducted by Maynards on October 8.

Masdar PV had presumably purchased a second standard ‘SunFab’ lines from Applied Materials, based on expected demand and the opportunity to lower production costs with scale. 

What was was not publically known was that the second line would seem, according to Maynards description to have never actually entered production. 

According to Finlay Colville, vice-president of NPD Solarbuzz, “Masdar had been one of the highest profile customers for the turn-key a-Si based production line suppliers, and had originally been talking about US$1 billion level investments into a-Si manufacturing capacity in Germany and Masdar City. At the end of the day, only a fraction of the intended capacity was installed, with original commitments cancelled a long time ago.”

Colville’s take is that the unused line had been purchased but the order was later terminated. Masdar was obligated to take the line, therefore it became surplus to requirements.

“From all the turn-key a-Si line deliveries over the years from AMAT, Oerlikon Solar, ULVAC and Jusung, there are only a few customers left today running equipment, with the long-term prospects for each of these increasingly under threat from the dominance of p-type multi c-Si modules on the market,” added Colville.

Whats also interesting is to see a list of equipment and suppliers that were behind Applied’s turnkey SunFab product, something again that was not in the public domain and includes the following; 

Frontend Equipment
Washers (Benteler)
Auto Seamer (Benteler)
Abatement Systems: Pumping Stands, (Edwards) and Marathons (Metron)
Exhaust Air Filtration System PECVD (Keller)
PVD ATON 5.7 (Applied Materials)
Lasers (MANZ)
Glass Handling Robots (KUKA)
Glass Transport Conveyors (Grenzebach)
Glass Storage Systems / Accumulators
Laser Edge Delete Tool (Manz)

Backend Equipment
Laser Edge Delete (Manz / Rofin)
Shuntbusting and Cell-Measurement Tool (ATS)
Cut & Break (Grenzebach)
Seamer (Benteler)
Washers (Benteler)
Bussing/Soldering Tool (ATS)
Automated Lamination Preparation (Benteler)
Laminator (Kloepper)
Autoclave (Scholz)
Junction Box Attachment (ATS)
Solar Simulator (ATS)

Complete Line for Manufacturing of BIPV Modules
BIPV Laser for special Designs and Semitransparency (Manz)
Cutting Table (Hegla)
CNC-Automated Seamer (Benteler)
Washer (Benteler)
Vacuum Laminator (Meier)
BIPV Solar Simulator (Berger)
Air Cushion Tables for Manual Processing
Soldering Station (Weller)

Not surprisingly some of the big ticket items are several of Applied’s AKT PECVD systems valued at €15,000 a piece (bargain) and Applied’s sputtering system ‘ATON’ 5.7 for a cool €20,000. 

A complete auction catalogue with images and detailed descriptions can be found here.

10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!
23 November 2021
The solar, storage and EV industries in the UK are going from strength to strength. There is no better place for the community to meet, share ideas and do business than Solar & Storage Live from 23-25 November at the NEC.There’s something for everyone; more than 150 exhibitors, a high-level conference, a start up and innovation zone, a poster zone, strategic partners to network with and much more. 
1 December 2021
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run online with streamed content, access to session recordings and chat/messaging tools for delegates to connect.
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.

Read Next

October 25, 2021
The Cabinet of Japan’s government has approved a plan to raise the national target for renewable energy in the electricity generation mix to between 36% and 38% by 2030. 
October 22, 2021
Alight has signed agreements to build three solar parks in Sweden that according to the company will be the largest in Sweden once built with a total installed capacity of 90MW.
October 22, 2021
The clean energy business of US utility NextEra Energy had a record quarter of origination success in Q3, adding approximately 2,160MW to its backlog, including 515MW of new solar projects.
October 22, 2021
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is to fund projects aiming to extend the operational lifetime of solar PV projects to 50 years and support the development of advanced materials such as perovskites.
October 22, 2021
Essentia Energia has begun operations at its 475MW Sol do Sertao solar power plant in the Brazilian state of Bahia
PV Tech Premium
October 22, 2021
Average winning solar bids in Spain’s renewables auction this week came in above those for wind as interest among PV bidders faltered against a backdrop of rising equipment costs and regulatory uncertainty.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021