Valoe receives order for a solar module manufacturing plant from Ethiopia

Photovoltaics specialist Valoe concluded negotiations with a customer in Ethiopia for a solar module manufacturing plant.

Photovoltaics (PV) specialist Valoe (Mikkeli, Finland) concluded negotiations with a customer in Ethiopia for a solar module manufacturing plant valued €15.8 million ($17.6 million). Financed by the Development Bank of Ethiopia, about €9.5 million ($10.5 million) of the sales price will be paid in cash to Valoe and the rest in shares of the customer company, resulting in Valoe having a 30% share in its Ethiopian manufacturing partner. The plant will be delivered to Ethiopia in 2016.

Valoe, which specializes in PV solutions for clean energy, provides automated production technology for solar modules based on the company's own technology. This includes production lines and special components for solar modules.

Valoe's module technology is based on back contact cells that are interconnected using a flexible circuit rather than the tabbing and stringing process. This technology uses lasers in various production processes, including vias in PV cells using laser drilling, as well as laser cutting encapsulants for cell interconnection pathways and labeling. The company owns intellectual property related to laser soldering of interconnections within the module laminate.

The order from Ethiopia is the first order consistent with Valoe's long-term strategy in employing their new and advanced technology. With the material provided, they convinced the customer of their advanced technology as well as technical and commercial competence to support manufacturing partners also in the future.

The module manufacturing plant order involves business, financial, and country risks that are typical of international equipment sales.

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