SAN JOSE, Calif. High-flying First Solar Inc. has approved the construction of an additional solar cell manufacturing plant in Malaysia.
The plant will have an annual production capacity of 120 Megawatts (MW), representing an aggregate investment of approximately $150 million, according to First Solar (Phoenix). The new plant is scheduled to start production in the first half of 2009. It will be built adjacent to two previously announced plants currently under construction in Malaysia.
First Solar operates manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Germany with total annual nameplate production capacity of 210MW. The company has a total annual nameplate production capacity of 240MW.
The expansion will bring the company's total annual nameplate production capacity to 570MW upon completion of all announced projects by the end of 2009.
The production from the newly announced plant expansion will be used to meet additional demand from First Solar's existing customers, including Blitzstrom GmbH, Conergy AG, Gehrlicher Umweltschonende Energiesysteme GmbH, Phoenix Solar AG, and Reinecke + Pohl Sun Energy AG.
It will also meet demand under a new long term contract with ASSYCE Fotovoltaica, a Spanish renewable energy project developer and system integrator.
''Our customers have demonstrated that they are among the best positioned in the industry to develop meaningful project pipelines for large ground and roof-mounted projects across the EU,'' stated Mike Ahearn, chief executive of First Solar, in a statement.