Rusnano to participate in project to build thin-film solar PV module plant in Russia

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The homegrown Russian solar photovoltaic industry appears on the verge of adding significant manufacturing capacity after news that that the Supervisory Council of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, Rusnano, has approved the corporation’s participation in a project to build a million-module-per year, 120-MW panel factory using micromorph-silicon thin-film PV technology provided by Oerlikon Solar.

A new company will be established under the project at Khimprom’s industrial park in the city of Novocheboksarsk, Chuvash Republic. The core participants in the project are Rusnano and Renova Group. Total investment in the project is 20.1 billion rubles, with Rusnano contributing 3.7 billion rubles to the equity of the new concern. The corporation will also offer the project company a loan of 9.8 billion rubles.

Rusnano will hold a 49% equity share in the project company, while Renova will own a 51% stake and will be responsible for development of the business.

The project is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2009 and reach the planned capacity in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company revenue in 2015 is estimated at 10.3 billion rubles.

Rusnano CEO Anatoly Chubais said that “the establishment of a major research center, whose expenses for equipment alone will equal one billion rubles, lends [the project] a particular significance.” The center will work on increasing the effectiveness of the solar modules in cooperation with the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The southern European region will be the primary target market for the sale of PV products produced at the proposed plant. Avelar Energy Group (part of the Renova Group), which installs and adjusts solar modules in Europe, will handles product sales. In the long term, up to 15% of the panels will be directed toward the Russian market.

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