Abu Dhabi energy firm starts work on German plant

August 21st, 2008 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Aug 21 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates-based renewable energy company Masdar has broken ground for its $230-million photovoltaic (PV) production plant in Germany.The ground-breaking ceremony in Ichtershausen comes three months after the Abu Dhabi government-owned company announced a $2-billion strategic investment in thin-film PV manufacturing, one of the largest investments ever made in solar energy, the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The new plant is the first phase of this investment.

The plant will use advanced production technologies to bring PV closer towards grid parity, according to the report.

“Abu Dhabi’s geography and our vision to become a world leader in renewable energy, makes thin-film PV a natural area of focus for Masdar,” Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of Masdar, said in a statement.

“Germany, with its technology, highly skilled workforce, attractive investment climate, and direct access to the European market, is an ideal partner for Masdar,” he added.

To be opened in the third quarter of 2009, the Ichtershausen plant has a targeted annual production capacity of 70 MW, and will create more than 180 green jobs.

It will produce the world’s largest - 5.7 square metres - and most powerful PV modules, on equipment from the world’s leading supplier Applied Materials, to drive the cost reductions necessary to make solar energy an affordable reality.

Germany was selected as Masdar’s first PV plant location because of its reputation as a leading global centre for PV technology, the WAM report said.

The German plant will act as a blueprint for technology and knowledge transfer to a 140 MW Abu Dhabi plant, which will begin initial production by the third quarter of 2010.

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