World's largest shipbuilder brings centrotherm photovoltaics on board: Hyundai Heavy Industries starts mass production in photovoltaics business

Blaubeuren, 10.06.2008

  • 250 MW turnkey plant for solar cell production
  • Current order book position: EUR 712.9 million
  • Clear commitment to Germany as a business location

centrotherm photovoltaics AG, the internationally leading supplier of technology and services for the manufacturing of solar cells and solar silicon, books a further business success in the promising future market of Korea: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. has ordered five turnkey production lines of 50 megawatt (MW) each to manufacture crystalline solar cells. Robert Hartung, CEO of centrotherm photovoltaics commented: "It gives us great pleasure to enable a further company to make a successful, industrial entry into the photovoltaics market". The centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based in Swabia in Germany, regards itself as a pioneer in photovoltaics, and to this end is targeting its efforts at new markets and new customers. As is the case with Hyundai Heavy Industries, increasing numbers of customers are coming from other sectors." We are valued as a strategic partner, particularly by companies from traditional branches of industry, and our many years of experience – especially in the turnkey business – prove persuasive," Robert Hartung emphasized. The order book position of centrotherm photovoltaics currently amounts to EUR 712.9 million.

The five turnkey lines with an installed cell capacity totaling 250 MW are being set up in the South Korean City of Eumesong, a site of Hyundai Heavy in the Northwest of the country. They will be delivered in 2009. This order represents an industrial entry into a new market for the world's largest shipbuilder. With the size of the turnkey plant Hyundai Heavy is following a business trend characterized by new players entering the market increasingly with large turnkey plants as opposed to small lines. The Koreans' decision demonstrates that an increasing number of groups identify potential in the solar sector, and that European companies such as centrotherm photovoltaics are the technology partners of choice.

South Korea is one of the largest photovoltaics growth markets. The country's government has decided to press ahead with the expansion of photovoltaics as one of the most important renewable energy sources. Research and development has been supported since 2004. An installed cell capacity of 500 MW is anticipated by the end of 2009.The focus is on process technologies that help to cut costs and achieve greater reliability. This pleases Robert Hartung: "Crystalline solar cells remains our strongest area. We are constantly researching improvements in production processes and provide performance guarantees for our turnkey lines. This has also convinced our Korean customers." All signs continue to point towards further growth at centrotherm photovoltaics. The business in Asia, in particular, is enjoying stellar growth, and meanwhile accounts for around 70% of total revenue.

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG

centrotherm photovoltaics AG is an internationally leading provider of technology and services for the production of solar cells and solar silicon. 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 centrotherm photovoltaics Group currently employs 330 staff members at its locations in Blaubeuren, Burghausen, Constance, and Dresden, and operates globally in Europe, Asia, and the USA. The company achieved revenue in the last financial year of EUR 166.2 million, EBIT of EUR 21.1 million, and is listed in the TecDax of the Frankfurt Securities Exchange.

centrotherm photovoltaics AG

Johannes-Schmid-Straße 8
89143 Blaubeuren

Listing: Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Securities Exchange
Registered Office: Germany

Company Contact:

Saskia Schultz-Ebert
Senior Manager Investor Relations
T +49 7344 918-8890

Press Contact:

Grit Pauli
HOSCHKE & CONSORTEN Public Relations GmbH
T +49 40 3690 50-31