28 February 2011
GT Solar wins $41.6m order for sapphire furnaces from new Asian customer
GT Solar International Inc of Merrimack, NH, USA (a provider of polysilicon production technology as well as sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets) has received an order for sapphire crystallization furnaces worth more than $41m.
This is GT Solar’s fourth order for its sapphire crystallization furnaces in recent months. In January, GT Solar received a $33.3m order from South Korean polysilicon provider OCI Company Ltd, and in December it received two orders totaling more than $84m from China’s Jiangsu Jixing New Material Co Ltd and Jiujiang Sapphire Tech Co Ltd (affiliates of two long-term photovoltaic customers).
“We continue to see interest in our advanced sapphire furnace from new market entrants who are interested in producing sapphire material for high-brightness (HB) LED applications,” says president & CEO Tom Gutierrez. “Our sapphire crystallization furnace provides a scalable and reliable architecture allowing companies to quickly ramp to volume production to produce low-cost, large-area sapphire substrates,” he adds.
The furnaces ordered by the new manufacturer will initially produce 85kg boules. During its recent fiscal third-quarter 2011 quarterly earnings call, GT Solar announced an enhancement to its sapphire furnace that will increase output capacity to 100kg per cycle. The firm says that this scalability gives users an upgrade path to higher levels of throughput and productivity, providing a higher return on investment.