Q-Cells AG, located in Thalheim in Saxony-Anhalt, was founded in 1999 and is today the second-largest manufacturer of solar cells in the world. Q-Cells AG currently has about 900 employees worldwide and will produce polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar cells with an expected total output of 255 MWp in 2006. Four production lines are currently in operation, and construction of a fifth facility, which will be the largest to date, has started in November 2006 with the first two sections ready for operation by the end of 2007. The new factory will expand the company's production capacity by more than 50% and create an additional 400 jobs.
Q-Cells AG supplies independent module manufacturers in all strategic markets. In addition to Germany, these include Southern Europe, East Asia, and North America. The Company’s export ratio is nearly 50% and is targeted to increase to 60% by the end of 2007.
Strategy: Growth and cost reduction
The strategy of Q-Cells AG focuses on two major aspects: Growth and cost reduction. In order to reach its biggest goal of making photovoltaics competitive in the electricity market as soon as possible and thus no longer dependent on state subsidies, Q-Cells AG is conducting intensive research in its core business as well as in the development and commercialization of new photovoltaics technologies. Q-Cells AG sees itself as a technology leader in the photovoltaics market, and will continue to expand on this position.
With regard to the Company’s core business, this means continuing to develop and optimize all process steps, steadily reducing cell thickness in order to lower the quantity of silicon required for producing the cells, increasing efficiency levels, and developing new cell concepts.
Along with advancing its core business, the development of new technologies is gaining in significance for Q-Cells. The Company regards new photovoltaic technologies, especially in the thin-layer field, as an excellent supplement to its core business involving solar cells based on silicon wafers. These new technologies will allow Q-Cells to tap new markets and areas of use along with making a substantial contribution to reducing costs.
Initial results can already be seen in Thalheim. The two companies in which Q-Cells has taken a stake – CSG Solar AG (22%) and EverQ GmbH (33.3%) – have already started production of solar modules of various types. EverQ GmbH, which utilizes a new process for manufacturing silicon wafers, is already building its second factory for wafers, cells, and modules at the Thalheim location. CSG Solar AG manufactures thin-film modules.
In addition to this, Q-Cells is working actively to research and develop new thin-layer technologies. Two of its subsidiaries, Calyxo GmbH and Brilliant 234. GmbH, are constructing their first pilot production lines for new thin-film technologies on Sonnenallee in Thalheim. Q-Cells has also invested in other companies in Switzerland and the U.S. that have developed and are commercializing promising new technologies.
D - 06766 Bitterfeld-Wolfen OT Thalheim
Tel: +49 (0)3494 6699 10101
Fax: +49 (0)3494 6699 10000
Further information: http://www.q-cells.com