25 March 2010
Q-Cells SE is to add crystalline modules and medium-sized solar energy systems to its product portfolio and adapt market access in order to advance the company’s transformation from a solar cell manufacturer to a provider of photovoltaic solutions.
The objective of this broadened business model is to cover the more profitable areas of the value chain and improve the risk position. In parallel to the strategic transformation, the company will continue to advance its current restructuring programme in order to lay the foundations of future competitiveness. In 2010, the company expects a considerable increase in sales to between €1.0 billion and €1.2 billion as well as a significant improvement in the operating income.
Product portfolio for international markets
Q-Cells had taken initial steps to reposition the business back in 2008 with the move toward theproduction of thin-film modules as well as the installation of large ground-mounted systems. In future, the product portfolio will also include medium-scale projects and crystalline modules. In order to manufacture such modules, Q-Cells has agreed a partnership with Flextronics.
Flextronics is constructing a production line in Malaysia on the basis of Q-Cells’ technical specifications and high-level quality requirements for modules with a capacity of 200 MWp, to be equipped with solar cells produced by Q-Cells. The first module was produced in mid-March this year.
At the beginning of April, Q-Cells is to start marketing the modules to wholesalers and large installation service providers. The range initially includes thin-film modules from Solibro branded “Q Smart” and crystalline modules for ground-mounted systems under the “Q Base” brand, which were previously manufactured only for the in-house project business of the subsidiary, Q-Cells International GmbH (QCI) with cooperation partners. All in all, Q-Cells’ product range will continuously be expanded over the course of the year. In the future, it will feature an innovative portfolio consisting of solar cells, crystalline and thin-film modules as well as photovoltaic systems for large-scale ground and roof-mounted systems.
Outlook for 2010
In addition to the change at the helm of the company, which took place when Anton Milner stood down on 11 March to be replaced by Nedim Cen, the former CFO, there was also a change in the Supervisory Board. Richard Kauffman resigned his post in February 2010 and was succeeded by Helmut Gierse, who has many years of experience in industrial production and automation. Particularly in the first six months of 2010, considerable growth of the European market is expected.
Available investment in 2010 amounts to €150 million to €200 million. This will be allocated to the further expansion of cell production in Malaysia (planned capacity of 600 MWp by the end of 2010), thin-film module production at Solibro and targeted research and development for cells, modules and the development of systems expertise. Crystalline modules are expected to generate sales of 100 to 150 MWp in 2010. Sales in the newly installed photovoltaic systems related to QCIs project business are set to reach volumes between 150 MWp and 200 MWp. In 2010, the company expects a considerable increase in sales to between €1.0 billion and €1.2 billion as well as a significant improvement in the operating income.