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29 April 2014

German CIS PV module maker Avancis acquired by China’s CNBM

Avancis GmbH of Torgau, Germany, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Courbevoie, France since 2009 that manufactures copper indium selenide (CIS) thin-film photovoltaic modules, is selling its solar business to the Chinese building materials and glass manufacturer CNBM (China National Building Materials Group Corporation). The transaction will close following the registration of the new company at the commercial court and the granting of the necessary approvals.

Avancis and its predecessor companies have been developing CIS PV technology since the early 1990s. The firm’s current production process relies on its second-generation CIS technology, developed by its R&D lab in Munich and implemented in its production sites in Torgau. In January, Avancis raised its record for externally certified energy conversion efficiency for encapsulated CIS thin-film modules from an aperture efficiency of 15.1% (set in 2011) to 16.6% (for a 30cm x 30cm module), as independently confirmed by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

CNBM was founded in 1984 and in 2013 had 180,000 staff and sales of €30.8bn. In 2012 it acquired Germany’s CTFSolar GmbH, which provides production equipment and plants for manufacturing cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic modules. The Chinese government is currently pursuing a program for the development of solar energy, and CNBM intends to become intensively involved. The acquisition of Avancis will hence play a key role.

With the acquisition of Avancis, CNBM is planning to expand its solar module development and production. Further development of Avancis’ technology is an essential prerequisite for implementing CNBM’s expansion plans in photovoltaic energy generation in Asia and Europe, says the firm. The new Chinese owner hen ce intends to continue to operate the Tech Center in Torgau as well as the laboratory in Munich as R&D facilities and also, if possible, to restart production at Fab 2 in Torgau under the same company name Avancis GmbH.

“With CNBM International Corporation we have found a strong investor who will help us to further advance our CIS technology,” says Avancis’ chief technology officer Dr Franz Karg. “Together with the recently achieved new efficiency world record for encapsulated thin-film modules [of 16.6%], this is another important milestone for the successful growth of our company.”  

All 240 staff will be given the opportunity to be employed by the new company under the same terms (with all the rights and obligations existing at the time of the transfer of business to be taken over by the new owner). The Avancis product warranties will remain unchanged and the new company will be the contact for previous and new customers.

See related items:

Avancis achieves 16.6% efficiency record for encapsulated CIS thin-film PV modules

Tags: Avancis CIS PV module

Visit: www.Avancis.de

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