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Electronics Production | March 29, 2006

Schott to create 160 jobs in Germany

Schott, the technology group based in Mainz, Germany, will be investing 60 million Euros to enable its subsidiary, Schott Solar GmbH, to build a manufacturing facility for thin film solar electricity modules in Jena, Germany.
The manufacturing capacity will exceed 30 megawatts (MW) per year. The facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. By opening up this new solar manufacturing facility, Schott will be creating another 160 new jobs at its site in Jena.

“The establishment of this solar factory represents yet another milestone in our efforts to expand our solar activities. This investment means we will be expanding our thin film technology to the industrial series production level. As a result, we'll be rising to the world's leading manufacturers in this field, as well” explains Dr. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Schott AG. “With this solar investment we bring another new business to Jena, and we strengthen the location where Schott was founded,” he adds.

The new production facility will manufacture thin film solar electricity modules based on amorphous silicon. This process calls for silicon to be vapor deposited onto glass. One main advantage that thin film technology offers is that much less of the raw material silicon is required. In addition, these modules can be put to use in a number of flexible ways. For the most part, ASI® thin film modules (ASI = amorphous silicon) are integrated into glazing applications that involve windows, roofs and façades. Used in this manner, they allow for interesting architectural approaches in conjunction with environmentally friendly generation of energy. In addition, smaller thin film modules are used to supply power in consumer electronic products, such as solar powered watches, backyard lights and electrical appliances.

The Schott Group has consolidated its PV solar electricity activities inside its subsidiary, Schott Solar GmbH. With its SmartSolarFab® in Alzenau (Bavaria), Schott Solar operates the world's most modern fully integrated manufacturing facility for producing PV solar electricity components based on crystalline silicon wafers. Additional manufacturing sites are located in the Czech Republic and the United States. With a manufacturing capacity of over 100 megawatts, Schott Solar ranks as Europe's largest fully integrated supplier that is capable of covering the entire value creation chain, including crystalline wafers, cells and modules. In the area of thin film technology, Schott Solar currently operates a facility for producing ASI® thin film modules in lesser quantities at its site in Putzbrunn, near Munich, Germany. This is now being joined by industrial serial production in Jena.

In addition to its activities in the PV solar electricity sector, Schott is also active in the field of solar thermal energy. At its site in Mitterteich (Bavaria), the company manufactures tube collectors that utilize energy from the sun to provide heat and warm water, as well as solar receivers, a key component of solar thermal power plants. With the establishment of the new solar production facility, Schott will have invested more than half a billion Euros in Jena since German Unification.

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