centrotherm, Kinetics Germany to build Africa’s largest module production facility
May 21, 2011 - Chris Whitmore - pv-tech.org
centrotherm photovoltaics and Kinetics Germany have signed an agreement with Société Nationale de l'Electricité et du Gaz (Sonelgaz) to build an integrated solar module manufacturing facility in Rouiba, Algeria. When completed, the 43,000-square-metre site, located 30 km east of Algiers, will be home to Africa’s largest solar module factory and have an annual production capacity of around 116MW.
With the exception of silicon production, the site will cater for the entire solar manufacturing chain, ranging from ingot firing through to solar module end-products. Turnkey systems for the factory, such as ingot furnaces and module production technology, will be provided by centrotherm, which has also offered its support to Sonelgaz throughout the system commissioning process. Engineering services, construction management, the turnkey production of the building and the technical fittings for the building will be handled by Kinetics.
The integrated nature of the production process will allow the consortium to drive down costs for both themselves and their customers. Module production will begin in 2014 and help meet the consortium’s combined order volume of €290 million.
"Our expertise as a photovoltaic technology leader, the lowest production costs per watt peak, and our many years of experience in turnkey projects proved persuasive to our Algerian customers", centrotherm’s CEO Robert Hartung said. "Solar energy possesses great market potential particularly in very sunny countries such as Algeria, or in the Arabian region, because it is unrivalled in terms of cost compared with other energy sources."