PV and silicon equipment specialist centrotherm photovoltaics has reported increased sales in the first half of 2015, driven by revenue generated from the often delayed polysilicon plant project in Qatar for Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec).
Centrotherm reported first half revenue €85.9 million, compared to €78.09 million (US$86.4 million) in the prior-year period. PV sales in 2014 were €90.6 million, up from €70.1 million in 2013.
In its Silicon segment, primarily comprising subsidiary SiTec, sales reached €40.09 million, including €31.8 million directly from the QSTec polysilicon project.
QSTec is a JV between Qatar Solar, owned by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, SolarWorld and the Qatar Development Bank. QSTec has a 29% shareholding in SolarWorld.
The QSTec polysilicon project in Ras Laffan Industrial City has a planned initial capacity of 8,000MT. Funding of US$1 billion was announced back in May, 2012 but the project had been hampered by delays, changes to design and, according to centrotherm, unspecified cost overruns due to delays not caused by SiTec.
Centrotherm reported sales of €38.37 in its Photovoltaics & Semiconductor segment, almost the same as in the prior-year period of €38.06 million.
However, new order intake for PV production systems did not meet company expectations. New orders for the period totalled €46.5 million, down from €62.5 million in the prior-year period. The company noted that increased competition and cost pressures also affected new order intake.
Order backlog stood at €120.2 million, compared to €150.2 million in the prior year period.
The company noted that due to increased solar cell capacity expansion announcements by a number of tier-1 PV manufacturers for new processing technology, guidance of sales reaching between €150 million to €200 million and a breakeven position were reiterated.