Umicore to double germanium substrate production

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Umicore is to double the production of germanium substrates used for high-efficiency solar cells with the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Quapaw, Oklahoma, U.S.A. Construction is expected to start in July 2008, and to be completed in the spring of 2010, allowing Umicore to achieve a company total wafer run rate of 900,000 per annum when fully ramped.

Umicore said that the doubling in capacity was required due to the expected rapid growth of the terrestrial concentrator photovoltaic market, especially in North America. The company cited a concentrator market projection of 6GW demand by 2020 that would require approximately 10 million germanium wafers. 

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