SolarWorld in Qatar module plan

German PV group SolarWorld will help its shareholder Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) to build module manufacturing capacity in Qatar, SolarWorld vice president Milan Nitzschke confirmed to Recharge.

Although details of the exact nature of the relationship are still under wraps, Nitzschke confirmed the plant will feature SolarWorld technology.

SolarWorld chief executive Frank Asbeck had earlier told German newspaper Handelsblatt that his company would help Qatar in its ambitions for comprehensive manufacturing facilities for PV modules in the Middle Eastern state.

Neither Asbeck, nor Nitzschke, gave details on the size of the future module plant in Qatar, but the latter said it would serve rapidly expanding regional markets in the Middle East.

QSTec took a 29% stake in the revamped German PV group in the wake of SolarWorld’s recent restructuring, and now is its biggest shareholder.

QSTec itself is owned by the Qatar Foundation, set up by the Qatari government to support education and science projects. SolarWorld has held a 29% stake in QSTec since the latter was set up in 2010.

Nitzschke also confirmed that QSTec is completing its polysilicon factory in Qatar, which will produce from the autumn of this year onwards.

QSTec on its website says the facility in Ras Laffan near Doha at first will produce 8,000 tonnes per year, but that this could be expanded to more than 45,000 tonnes per year.