SolarWorld Secures Stake in Qatar Silicon Venture

SolarWorld AG (SWV.DE) is investing in a 29% stake of a newly formed joint venture in the emirate of Qatar.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Qatar Solar Technologies (QST) is the first company with plans to produce polysilicon–the primary raw material for photovoltaic solar production–on the Arabian Peninsula.

Other partners include the Qatar Foundation (70%) and the Qatar Development Bank (1%).

Qatar Solar Technologies has invested more than US$500 million in the construction of new production with a planned annual capacity of 3,600 tons of polysilicon in the first stage of expansion. Production is scheduled to begin in 3Q12.

German company Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG is providing technology for the production line.

Qatar Solar Technologies said the market for solar power systems on the Arabian Peninsula is growing.

SolarWorld AG said the deal will secure its supply of solar silicon with favorable long-term contracts. It will also provide for raw material recycling.

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