The €250 million acquisition of silicon thin film equipment supplier, Oerlikon Solar by Tokyo Electron (TEL) has finally been concluded.
The deal, originally struck in early March, 2012 will see Oerlikon Solar become a new “core” business unit of TEL that is intended to help the company in its future growth plans, according to Hiroshi Takenaka, President and CEO of TEL in a statement.
“We can look forward to further growth in demand for thin-film silicon photovoltaic panels, particularly for large-scale power generation, as a result of their superiority in actual energy generation in regions with abundant sunlight and the cost advantages,” noted Takenaka.
Takenaka’s reference to large-scale PV power plants echoes the key business model of First Solar, the largest thin film producer and major project developer.
Thin film technologies have also been noted for their operating temperature benefits when compared to conventional crystalline silicon modules, whereby the loss of performance under high-ambient temperatures is less, minimising the higher module conversion efficiencies of crystalline silicon modules.
“By combining its [Oerlikon Solar] technologies with the advanced technologies that TEL has nurtured in the semiconductor production equipment business, we will be able to develop more competitive devices. This acquisition is an undertaking intended to establish the photovoltaic panel (PV) production equipment business as a new core business that will support TEL’s growth strategy,” concluded Takenaka.