Construction of first silicon factory on Arabian Peninsula: centrotherm photovoltaics signs major order in Qatar

Blaubeuren, 01.03.2010

  • Technology and equipment to produce high-purity silicon
  • Growing potential for solar plants on the Arabian Peninsula

centrotherm photovoltaics AG has today signed an agreement with Qatar Solar Technologies (QST) to construct a silicon factory with a planned annual production capacity of 3,600 tons. This is the first polysilicon production facility on the Arabian Peninsula.

The photovoltaics specialist from Blaubeuren, Germany, is supplying technology and equipment to produce high-purity silicon, and will be responsible for engineering and project services all the way through to ramp-up. Along with reactors and converters, centrotherm photovoltaics' vent gas recovery plant, which was presented last year, will be deployed. This plant is used to recover toxic process gases, and contributes to the sparing use of production resources, as a share of the gases are reintroduced into the production process. This process reduces energy consumption, boosts production efficiency, and thereby results in significant production cost advantages.

"We are looking forward to support Qatar Solar Technologies in such a groundbreaking project," commented Robert M. Hartung, CEO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG. "The customer's selection of centrotherm photovoltaics confirms our performance in the silicon division, and supports our strategy of positioning ourselves along the entire photovoltaic value-creation chain." The order was received by centrotherm SiTec GmbH, a one hundred percent subsidiary in which centrotherm photovoltaics has bundled its Group silicon expertise since 2008. For Qatar, this project represents an important step towards sustainable energy generation. Photovoltaics enjoys long-term support as a future industry, and it supports Qatar's political objective of reducing its oil-dependency in favor of renewable energy sources. Consequently, the Arabian Peninsula is developing into an important photovoltaic industry growth market.

A newly founded joint-venture between Solarworld AG and QST is backing the project. SolarWorld AG will hold a 29 percent stake in the joint-venture. Its partners are the Qatar Foundation (70 percent) and the Qatar Development Bank (1 percent). The Royal House of Qatar will act as patrons to the venture.

QST will invest a total of more than USD 500 million in the creation of the new production facilities with a planned annual capacity of 3,600 tons of high-purity polysilicon in the initial expansion phase. The production start-up is planned for the third quarter of 2012. The joint-venture enjoys access to an excellent chemicals industry infrastructure with highly favorable energy prices at the Ras Laffan Industrial City location in north-eastern Qatar. Here, forward-integration along the entire value-creation chain all the way through to complete solar electricity modules can also be realized. An increasingly larger market for solar electricity plants is developing out of the Arabian Peninsula's reconsideration of its energy policies.

About the Qatar Foundation
His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, established the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development in 1995, and its Chairwoman is Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned. The Qatar Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in Qatar by supporting innovative technologies, education, public health, and community development within the Emirate.

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG

centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is headquartered in Blaubeuren, Germany, is one of the world's leading technology and equipment providers for the manufacturing of solar silicon, crystalline solar cells and CIGS thin film modules. The broad product spectrum comprises key equipment and turnkey production lines for crystalline and thin-film solar cells. The product range is supplemented by reactors and converters for the manufacturing of solar silicon. centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance parameters such as production capacity, degree of efficacy, and completion deadlines for turnkey lines. The Group employs around 1,100 staff members, and operates in Europe, Asia and the USA.

centrotherm photovoltaics AG
Johannes-Schmid-Strasse 8
89143 Blaubeuren
Admitted to the Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Securities Exchange
Corporate domicile: Germany

Company contact:
Saskia Schultz-Ebert
Senior Manager Investor Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8890
E-Mail: saskia.schultz-ebert(at)

Press contact:
Christina Siebels, Britta Cirkel
HOSCHKE & CONSORTEN Public Relations GmbH
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E-Mail: c.siebels(at); b.cirkel(at)