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Q.Cells sells thin-film solar business to China’s Hanergy

China's Hanergy Holding Group Limited and Germany's Q-Cells signed an agreement for the former's acquisition of Solibro, Q-Cells subsidiary that works with thin-film solar technology.

Solibro has developed a co-evaporation technology for producing copper indium gallium diselenide solar modules under the brand name Q-Smart. Based in Germany's Solar Valley in Thalheim, Solibro currently runs two factories with a combined capacity of 135 megawatts peak and has produced and sold more than 140 MWp.

After the completion of the acquisition, Solibro will ramp up to a yearly production capacity of 100 MW that it will supply Hanergy's European customers.

Hanergy is one of China's largest privately owned providers of renewable energy, with subsidiaries in the United States, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Focusing on hydroelectric power and thin-film solar, Hanergy currently has an installed capacity of 6,000 MW in hydro and separately aims to reach a 3,000 MW production capacity for solar by the end of the year.

Q.Cells has been looking for a suitable investor for Solibro for some time.

"With Hanergy as a partner, the potential of Solibro's CIGS thin-film technology and existing production capacity can be fully realized. We are even more pleased with the fact that Hanergy intends to retain our current workforce in Thalheim," said Dr. Nedim Cen, chief executive of Q-Cells.

The company filed for insolvency this April after reporting net losses of $1.13 billion in 2011 due to competition from lower-cost solar products from China. (See related story.)

Business operations at Q.Cells are reported as stabilizing. The company has continued to operate along with the start of preliminary insolvency proceedings. – K.R. Jalbuena

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