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Centrotherm receives €60m order for CIGS thin-film PV production line

Post Time:Mar 03,2009Classify:Company NewsView:375

Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG of Blaubeuren, Germany has received a €60m order for a 50MW copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic module production line, supporting the entry of Hamburg-based project development firm Illies Renewables GmbH into thin-film PV manufacturing. Delivery will begin to its plant in Magdeburg-Rothensee, Germany in first-half 2010.

“This order provides further confirmation that we have backed a pioneering technology in CIGS,” says Centrotherm Photovoltaics’ board member Hans Autenrieth. “CIGS is currently the most efficient form of thin-film technology, achieving a rate of more than 20% in research settings,” he adds.

Also, Centrotherm Photovoltaics, which supplies equipment and turnkey production lines for both crystalline silicon and thin-film solar cells, reports that it more than doubled its annual revenue from 2007's €166m to €375m in 2008 (up 126%). Operating earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) also more than doubled from €21.1m to €44m (or €56m, excluding the effects of purchase prices paid for acquisitions).

In particular, despite the global financial crisis, fourth-quarter 2008 revenue was €138m, up on €75m a year ago. Q4 order intake was €123m (up from €211m a year ago), boosting backlog to €990m (of which about 20% is already being processed). About 60% of the orders will be realized in 2009, and contribute to this year's revenue and earnings.

Of the orders, €445m was attributable to the solar cell business area, €496m to silicon, and €49m to thin-film. Orders for turnkey production lines amounted to about 33% of the backlog (with the remaining 67% relating to specialty and individual items of equipment from all three business areas).

For 2009 the firm expects double-digit revenue growth to €500-550m, despite the difficult market environment. Already, in the first weeks of 2009, Centrotherm has received orders worth about €320m from Asia and Europe.

Despite the global financial crisis and its effects, there have been no major order cancellations, says chief financial officer Oliver Albrech. Nevertheless, with the aim of identifying and realizing efficiency-enhancement and cost-reduction potential across the group, in fourth-quarter 2008 the firm launched a ‘Performance Plus – Program’, which involves intensifying R&D.

Source: semiconductor-today.comAuthor: shangyi

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