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IQE

13 August 2015

Stion purchases $5.8m of Avaco's tools

Avaco Co Ltd of Daegu, South Korea, which manufactures thin-film processing equipment including sputtering physical vapor deposition (PVD) vacuum deposition systems, has received a purchase order of $5.8m for production tools under a capital lease agreement from Stion Corp of San Jose, CA, USA, a manufacturer of nanostructure-based CIGS (copper indium gallium sulphur-diselenide) thin-film solar modules founded in 2006 with backing by Khosla Ventures.

The tools will complete the first full production line in Stion's high-volume manufacturing facility in Hattiesburg, MS, USA (opened in 2012), helping to double production output from 60MW to 120MW per year. As part of the deal, the two firms will also extend their engineering services agreement.

Avaco is providing six thermal processing furnaces for the absorber formation process, and two TCO (transparent conducting oxide) deposition tools. The systems will allow Stion to eliminate bottlenecks within the production line. The build-out, along with other productivity improvements, will allow the line to reach its full target output of 120MW per year.

Avaco has traditionally specialized in the manufacturing of flat-panel display (FPD) equipment, and is continuing to grow its presence in the photovoltaic (PV) market by leveraging its thin-film coating and system engineering expertise. The firm has already assisted Stion in building and retrofitting several key tools for its Hattiesburg factory.

"This partnership represents an exceptional opportunity for Stion to take advantage of strong demand in the US and other global markets," believe's Stion's CEO Chet Farris. "As our product has become more widely accepted for larger megawatt-scale projects, increased capacity has become the key. We feel confident in Avaco as the equipment partner for this expansion," he adds. 

Avaco is continuing to expand its presence in the US solar market, says Jimyung Wee, Avaco's executive VP of strategy & planning. "Our partnership with Stion shows our belief in and commitment to CIGS technology," he adds.

See related items:

Stion to accelerate second-half 2014 and 2015 solar panel capacity ramp

Stion receives ISO 9001 certification for mass-production facility

Stion opens 100MW CIGSSe PV factory in Mississippi

Tags: Stion CIGSSe

Visit: www.stion.com

Visit: www.avaco.com

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