German solar production equipment companies PVA TePla, the Arnold Group, and Schmid say they will intensify their partnership in the field of wafer manufacturing, in order to achieve technological and cost leadership positions in crystalline silicon PV wafer processing.
The companies believe that the increasing cost pressure on wafer producers and substantial changes in the process technology require comprehensive and cooperative work. As a result, consequent utilisation of all synergies and an integrative, process-overlapping outlook with regard to conceptual innovations is a prerequisite for achieving the cost reduction in wafer production which future markets demand, according to the partners.
The companies plan to establish a joint technology center in Germany, with a start date scheduled for the beginning of 2010. The center will not only offer the manufacturers the opportunity of demonstrating their latest processes to customers and carrying out training courses but will also enable them to evaluate developments under real production conditions.
The location of the tech center will be determined In the next few weeks, and an announcement will be forthcoming about other possible partners joining the new consortium, the companies said.