Saint-Gobain has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HRH Prince Faisal Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to set up a high-tech company in the solar energy sector in Saudi Arabia.

The signing ceremony was held in Torgau, Germany, where Saint-Gobain's Avancis affiliate operates one of the world's most modern thin film PV module plants.

PV-Tech understands that, under the terms of the Memorandum, Saint-Gobain will provide technical assistance and engineering expertise to build and operate a CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide) thin film PV module manufacturing facility in KSA. The project is part of a larger program which includes the construction of solar power plants in the Kingdom.

The strategic alliance will lay the foundation for other businesses in the field of solar. Furthermore, it will accelerate the development of solar power plants equipped with modules manufactured in Saudi Arabia using Avancis CIGS technology.

The solar electricity generated using sunlight could lead to a reduction in the consumption of crude oil.

Jean-Pierre Floris. Saint-Gobain Senior Vice-President and President of the Innovative Materials Sector, said:  "We are very honoured to work together with HRH Prince Faisal, leveraging our technology and manufacturing expertise to make solar energy a competitive source of electricity for the Kingdom. The cost of the electricity produced in this way will have a very strong local content."

HRH Prince Faisal emphasized the Kingdom will benefit in two different ways as a result of this partnership. 

He said: "On the one hand, it is going to result in an alternative and efficient way of producing electricity and on other hand, the introduction of very innovative technology to the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia will be the outcome."