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Electronics Production | January 04, 2010

STMicro, Sharp & Enel to cooperate on solar panels

STMicroelectronics, Sharp and Enel Green Power signed an agreement for the manufacture of triple-junction thin-film photovoltaic panels in Italy.
The agreement regarding the photovoltaic panel factory follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2008 by Enel Green Power and Sharp. STMicroelectronics has joined this strategic partnership. Enel Green Power will provide its international market development and project management know-how; Sharp its exclusive triple-junction thin-film technology and STMicroelectronics its manufacturing capacity, skills and resources.

The factory, located in Catania (Italy) in the existing M6 facility to be contributed by STMicroelectronics, is expected to have an initial production capacity of 160 MW per year. The plant’s capacity is targeted to be gradually increased to 480 MW per year over the next years. Photovoltaic panel manufacturing at the Catania plant is expected to start at the beginning of 2011.

The project of 160 MW will require a total investment of €320 million and will be funded by a combination of equity, state grants and project financing with no recourse to the Joint Venture’s shareholders beyond their quota in the Joint Venture. Each partner will subscribe one third of the equity – an expected contribution up to €70 million each, either in cash or in-kind - and will hold one third of the shares in the new Joint Venture Company.

The factory output will be used to serve the solar markets in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region with a particular focus on the Mediterranean area.

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