Roth & Rau plans turnkey CdTe production solution with acquisition of CTF Solar

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CTF Solar GmbH, a cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV manufacturing start-up, which can trace its roots back to 1993, has been acquired by equipment specialist Roth & Rau to launch turnkey production lines for interested parties by the end of 2009. CdTe is one of the most mature thin film technologies in volume production, best associated with First Solar and its success with the material. According to Roth & Rau, there are no equipment suppliers providing CdTe coating facilities or complete turnkey solutions that are not PV manufacturer specific.

Roth & Rau said that it had purchased all of the outstanding shares in the privately held firm in the ‘single-digit million euro range.’ The shares were held by the current management as well as by an investment company, Murphy&Spitz Green Capital AG.

“Accessing new sales markets and diversifying our business models are two of the main focuses of our growth strategy,” commented Dr. Dietmar Roth, CEO of Roth & Rau. “By acquiring CTF Solar GmbH and the related expertise, we will gain entry into the rapidly growing thin film market. We are deliberately focusing on CdTe thin film technology, as this optimally meets the market’s need for low production costs coupled with competitive efficiency levels, and thus harbours enormous growth potential.”

Roth & Rau plans to offer CdTe turnkey production lines as a general contractor as well as produce the coating facilities required for the deposition of the cadmium telluride, which is a core competency required for volume production capability.

First Solar has been attributed with the lowest cost per watt of any PV technology and has experienced rapid growth in the last two years since entering volume production.

Roth & Rau said that it had received strong interest from potential customers and expected the acquisition to significantly grow its business.

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