A new joint venture has been formed between Saint-Gobain and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to build and operate a 100MW CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenide) thin-film module plant in Korea, dubbed Fab 3. The JV will be called Hyundai Avancis. The new partners said the plant would be operational in the second quarter of 2012, with an initial investment of US$196.9 million.
Having acquired the outstanding 50% stake in Avancis from Shell in August 2009, Saint-Gobain has already announced a new 100MW CIGS plant to be built in Torgau, Germany. This plant will become operational a quarter before the plant in Korea. The new JV fab will base its design on this new updated line, according to Saint-Gobain.
“With this investment, Saint-Gobain significantly accelerates its growth on the solar market, by banking on a competitive and innovative technology,” commented Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, chairman and CEO of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain.
As a global glass manufacture, Saint-Gobain has four float-glass lines and several processing units for the automotive and building sectors based in Korea.
Keh-Sik Min, chairman of Hyundai Heavy Industries, said, “By expanding into the high-efficiency CIGS PV market, under a joint-venture with Saint-Gobain, HHI is on track with its plan to become a global supplier in the renewable energy sector via innovation and diversification. Above all, HHI will be one step closer to achieving the global commitment of pursuing an era of clean energy. We believe that we will soon fulfil these commitments that will provide a strong foundation for our future generations.”
Saint-Gobain claims its Avancis CIGS technology achieves above 12% efficiencies in production and up to 20% in the laboratory.