First Solar May Look to Acquire Raw Material Supplier

First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) the world’s biggest producer of thin-film solar panels made from Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) may soon look to purchase 5N Plus, one of a handful of companies that supplies the raw material for the solar panles.

Tellurium–a component of CdTe–is a byproduct of the copper industry, but it is in relative short supply. Until now, First Solar has been the only major producer of CdTe solar panels. The company has been able to expand its production capacity without concern to raw material supplies.

But First Solar’s plans for major capacity expansion and growing competition from upstart CdTe-makers Abound Solar and GE (NYSE: GE), are likely to influence the company to secure its CdTe supply through acquisition, according to a Reuters report. 

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