Germany Gets A Manufacturing Boost In PV From Meyer Burger

Switzerland based Meyer Burger Technologies is moving fast to transform itself to an integrated PV manufacturer. The firm, which has made its reputation as a  quality supplier of production equipment till recently, had declared its plans to move with forward integration sometime back. It has zeroed in on Germany for its first owned production line. The new line is expected to be on stream by 2021, for 400 MW of heterojunction cell technology based cells and modules.

The company joins a list of non Chinese firms worldwide who are going in for small capacity creation initially, with production sizes upto 500 MW, as they step into a market where Chinese firms had a stranglehold till last year, and continue to dominate.

Meyer Burger will be  manufacturing solar cells in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Saxony-Anhalt, and modules in Freiberg, Saxony.

As the newest such facility in Europe, coming from a tech leader, the new plant is expected to be the most  modern in Europe.

The company incidentally is setting up the plant and related infrastructure at a site earlier used by Solarworld, which went into liquidation caused by, among other factors, intense competition from China.

For Meyer Burger, the call to move into production from production equipment must have been a tough one, based on among other things, the poor protection for its patents and IP in China, the main production centre. So it is safe ti assume that the firm is hoping for a strong demand pipeline for its more efficient but pricey cells and modules soon.

Meyer Burger technologies have been an intrinsic part of the industry’s essential standards, such as the diamond wire saw technology, the PERC technology and precision measurement technology for solar modules.

The move to move into manufacturing has been made specifically for its Heterojunction/SmartWire technology based cells and modules, where it hopes to capture a significant share. In doing so, some observers believe they might have underestimated the strides based by China based manufacturers, some of them its erstwhile customers. We should know the answers, by 2022 .

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