MUNICH, Germany Solar cell manufacturer Q-Cells (Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany) has decided to erect a new production line in Malaysia and to expand the thin film module production in its Calyxo subsidiary. The move widens Q-Cells head start in the solar cell business.
The Malaysia production line the company's seventh is designed for a maximum capacity of more than 300 MWp. While Q-Cells declined to specify on the investment amount, media releases in the Malaysian press quote trade minister Rafidah Aziz saying that the investment will be somewhat higher than 1 billion Ringgit (about $307 million). The first construction phase with a capacity of 160 MWp is scheduled to ramp up production in 1Q2009.
Q-Cell subsidiary Calyxo, producing thin film modules based on cadmium telluride technology, will more than double its present production capacity from 25 MWp to 60 MWp. The additional production will start to ramp up in 2Q2009, the company said.
According to preliminary figures published Tuesday (Feb. 19), the company has augmented its production by 54 percent during the past year. With a total of 389 MWp, the company surpassed earlier estimates.
Sales grew 59 percent to 859 million (about $1.253 billion). Operating profit rose 52 percent to 197 million. Net profit came in 69 percent higher than last year with 148 million.
Past Friday (Feb. 15), magazine Photon had declared Q-Cells as the world's largest solar cell manufacturer, surpassing Sharp in this function. This ranking was based on the amount of only 370 MWp.