18-Feb-2010 - Linde AG

Bosch Solar Energy and Linde bolster collaboration to establish a new ‘solar cluster’ in Germany

Linde Nippon Sanso (LNS), a company of The Linde Group, and Bosch Solar Energy, have announced an extension of their collaboration at Bosch’s new crystalline Si solar cell manufacturing site in Arnstadt, Germany. Under the new agreement, LNS will supply silane and ammonia gas, both critical materials in the fabrication of Bosch’s high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) cells. Bosch currently operates three manufacturing facilities in the Erfurt/Arnstadt area applying both crystalline and thin film silicon technologies. When fully-ramped the crystalline facilities alone will have an overall capacity of 630 MWp (megawatt peak) - putting the Erfurt/Arnstadt area firmly on the map as a strong European ‘solar cluster’. Linde is the main gas technology supplier to all of the production lines. “Linde’s technology leadership in high-efficiency gases for PV manufacturing and our ability to provision these safely, has helped us bolster our collaboration with Bosch Solar Energy,” says Andreas Guenther, President LNS. “We value the opportunity to support Bosch’s capacity expansion and partner in the establishment of Erfurt/Arnstadt as an important PV manufacturing site in Europe.” Taking into account Bosch Solar Energy’s current and Masdar’s new thin-film plant, the overall capacity of the Erfurt ‘solar cluster’ currently stands at more than 300MWp and is projected to reach at least 700MWp by 2012, rivalling the well-established Thalheim ”solar valley”.

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