Siemens Buys Stake in Solar Thermal Company

Siemens (NYSE: SI) announced it will acquire a 28% stake in the Italian solar company Archimede Solar Energy S.p.A. (ASE) in an effort to expand its competencies for solar thermal power plants.

Siemens said ASE is the sole producer of solar receivers operating with molten salt as the heat transfer fluid. Siemens is a market leader in steam turbine-generators for solar thermal power plants. By combining these two technologies Siemens wants to enhance the efficiency of these plants and further reduce the production costs for solar power.

The two companies did not disclose the purchase price of the shares.

“By acquiring a stake in Archimede Solar Energy, Siemens is underlining its intention to become the leading provider of solutions for solar thermal power plants,“ said René Umlauft, CEO of the Siemens Renewable Energy Division. “In the upcoming years the market for solar thermal power plants will grow at a rapid pace and the interest of our traditional customers in the energy sector in this promising future-oriented technology will increase significantly.”

The market for solar thermal power plants will according to Siemens estimates show double-digit growth rates per year to reach a volume of over EUR 10 billion by 2015.

Archimede Solar Energy is a subsidiary of the industrial group Angelantoni Industrie, S.p.A. and is headquartered in Massa Martana in Umbria. Siemens will provide capital for fast expansion of production capacities, with the possibility to acquire a majority stake in the solar company in the mid-term.

Gianluigi Angelantoni, President of Archimede Solar Energy, said: “Construction of a new factory for the production of solar receivers, which is scheduled to be up and running in 2010, will begin before the end of this year.”

Products for solarthermal power plants are an important feature of Siemens environmental portfolio. In 2008, revenue from the products and solutions of Siemens environmental portfolio was nearly EUR19 billion, which is equivalent to around a quarter of Siemens total revenue.

The company has set a target of increasing sales in its green product portfolio to EUR 25 billion euros ($34 billion) in 2011.

The Angelantoni Industrie Group was established on 1932 and has a workforce of 750 employees at eight manufacturing plants in Italy, France, Germany, India and China. The two traditional core businesses are biomedical and laboratory equipment, and test equipment for automotive, electronics and aerospace applications.

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