Meyer Burger Wants to Establish Its Own Production of Solar Cells and Solar Modules in Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony

-Meyer Burger selects traditional solar sites in Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt) and Freiberg (Saxony) for the establishment of production facilities

-Use of existing infrastructure is aimed at saving resources - skilled workers and competencies available in the regions

-Ramp-up plans: production start in the first half of 2021 with 400 MW solar cells and 400 MW solar modules, expansion to 5 GW planned

-Use of locations requires successful implementation of capital increase

PVTIME - Meyer Burger Technology Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: MBTN) has chosen locations in the “Solar Valley” in Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt) and in Freiberg (Saxony) to start its own solar cell and module production. “We are looking forward to revitalising two of the most traditional solar locations in Europe and creating new jobs," said Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger. “The fact that we are able to use existing infrastructures and the high level of expertise in the regions is a conscious strategic decision that will enable us to achieve short ramp-up times and high product quality”.

A team of internal
and external production specialists evaluated the conditions at the
sites and rated them as very favourable. In Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Meyer
Burger rents buildings of the former solar cell manufacturer Sovello on a
long-term and cost-effective basis. Initially, the buildings will cover
an area of 27,000 square metres; additional space can be rented for
extensions if required. Meyer Burger will use its latest production
equipment there to manufacture highly efficient solar cells using the
proprietary heterojunction technology.

The high-efficiency
cells are further processed into SmartWire modules in Freiberg, almost
150 kilometres away. “With Meyer Burger, there is once again a supplier
of technologically leading solar cells Made in Europe,” said Gunter
Erfurt. “Almost all solar modules manufactured in Europe today contain
cells that come from Asia.”

Meyer Burger will
manufacture the patent-protected SmartWire modules in a production
facility of the former Solarworld Group. To date, it is the largest and
most modern plant of its kind in Europe. With an area of around 19,000
square metres, it also offers optimal conditions for the conversion and
adaptation of the existing infrastructure and the highly automated
module production lines. Today, the plant has an annual nominal capacity
of more than 600 MW, which can be increased to more than 800 MW with
new technologies. In addition, Meyer Burger is acquiring the modern
logistics and distribution centre (14,000 square metres) at the former
Solarworld site in Freiberg, which will provide the infrastructure for
the establishment of an efficient distribution structure. The parties
have agreed with the insolvency administrator, Christoph Niering, not to
disclose the purchase price.

The capacities for the
start of production in the first half of 2021 will be 400 MW per year in
solar cell production and 400 MW in module production. Further
expansion is then planned up to 5 GW. Meyer Burger intends to produce
next-generation solar modules that have a higher output per area and a
significantly higher energy yield compared to the current standard
technology.

Takeover of sites planned subject to completion of planned capital increase

The development of the
two locations by Meyer Burger requires the successful implementation of
the planned ordinary capital increase announced on 19 June 2020, with
targeted gross proceeds of CHF 165 million. For this, the company
requires the approval of the shareholders at the Extraordinary General
Meeting on 10 July 2020. The transaction is expected to be completed by
the end of July. Furthermore, the creditors' meeting of Solarworld
Industries GmbH still has to approve the purchase agreement of the
Freiberg sites.

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