Groundbreaking ceremony for new solar production facility
1,100 new jobs at ersol
Investment of 530 million euros in Arnstadt
· Ceremony attended by Federal Chancellor Merkel and Thuringian Deputy Minister President Diezel
· Manufacturing capacity to be tripled
· Bosch placing energy technology at the focus of its long-term strategy
Stuttgart/Arnstadt. At a groundbreaking ceremony in Arnstadt, Germany, attended by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Bosch Group has begun the expansion of its solar production, setting up a new manufacturing facility for crystalline solar cells and modules. “This investment is part of our increasing activities in renewable energies. These energies are increasingly gaining in significance, and will be integral to the energy mix of the future. Bosch recognized this at an early stage, and is already a major supplier to the wind-power industry, as well as of solar collectors and heat pumps for heating systems,” said Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. The new manufacturing facility of the Bosch subsidiary ersol would, he said, create additional capacity for the manufacture of up to 90 million solar cells per year. Given the average insolation value for Erfurt, this quantity of cells can theoretically generate enough electricity to supply all the private households in the city, which has a population of roughly 200,000. Bosch will invest some 530 million euros in Arnstadt between now and 2012. Roughly 1,100 new jobs will be created.
“The state of Thuringia is one of the prime locations for the solar industry, to which ersol Solar Energy AG also belongs. It is part of an innovative, strongly growing industry that has become established in the state over the past few years. And it is an industry with bright prospects,” said Birgit Diezel, Thuringia’s deputy minister-president. The new building will house manufacturing facilities for crystalline solar cells and module production. With this investment, ersol Solar Energy AG will nearly triple its present manufacturing capacity in the crystalline field to a nominal capacity of some 630 megawatt peak, and in this way to boost its growth trajectory. In addition, its existing research and development activities will be expanded, and a new administrative building will be constructed. Start of production is scheduled for the beginning of 2010.
“Energy technology is at the center of our long-term strategy,” said Dr. Siegfried Dais, deputy chairman of the Bosch board of management. “In the long run, energy demand and energy prices will increase considerably, and the conservation of resources and climate protection will become ever more urgent tasks for society. The utilization of renewable energy, and especially solar energy, will therefore take on increasing significance,” Dais said. Since 2005, the Bosch subsidiary ersol has grown by an average of 70 per cent per year. “While we expect this rapid growth to weaken temporarily as a result of the financial crisis, the market will return to its previous strength by 2010 at the latest,” said Holger von Hebel, the chairman of the ersol board of management.
ersol Solar Energy AG manufactures and sells high-quality silicon-based photovoltaic products. The ersol Group comprises the Silicon, Wafers, Solar Cells, and Modules segments. The company’s prime aim is to become further established as a manufacturer of high-quality silicon solar cells and thin-film solar modules, and to grow faster than the anticipated market average for the photovoltaics industry. According to preliminary figures, ersol generated sales of 310 million euros in fiscal 2008, making it one of the leading companies in the solar electricity industry. The ersol Group currently employs roughly 1,300 associates.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, some 282,000 associates generated sales of roughly 45 billion euros in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology in fiscal 2008. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than three billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.
The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.
Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.
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