Although difficult to signal the next technology buy cycle for the PV equipment market, leading supplier Meyer Burger has said that it has received contracts worth over CHF22 million (US$23.7 million) from several Asia-based customers for next generation process technology equipment.
The most significant order is for diamond wire wafer slicing equipment for an unidentified customer that produces monocrystalline silicon solar wafers. The PV wafering sector has been seriously hit by overcapacity over the last two years and many equipment suppliers have seen orders cancelled or delivery times perpetually postponed.
Unlike many orders stuck in order backlog, the diamond wire-based manufacturing equipment was said to be scheduled for delivery by the end of September 2013.
In June, 2013, China-based monocrystalline wafer producer, Comtec Solar said it was constructing a new 1GW wafer plant at the Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone in Malaysia, which would be completed around the end of November 2013.
Meyer Burger’s second order was said to be for a new customer but an important PV module manufacturer in Asia, which included orders for state-of-the-art module assembly equipment including lamination, cell connection, handling and performance testing tools.
The company said that the deal included customer training and support services with production scheduled to begin at the end of August 2013.
Not surprisingly, Meyer Burger viewed the tool orders as an indication that the PV equipment market was showing signs of recovery, albeit from historically low levels.
The company also guided preliminary financial results for the first half year 2013, which remained challenging.
Meyer Burger guided sales of around CHF90.4 million with an EBITDA loss of CHF81.9 million.