Meyer Burger Technology Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: MBTN) signed a major strategic contract for its Heterojunction (HJT) and SmartWire Connection Technology (SWCT™). A leading non-Chinese solar company has ordered core equipment for a 600 MW Heterojunction and SWCT™ integrated production line. With this order, the customer has chosen today’s most advanced industrialized PV manufacturing platform in order to achieve solar modules with leading-edge Watt performance.Initial delivery will begin in the first quarter of 2019 with the start of cell and module production planned in the second half of 2019. The total manufacturing capacity is scheduled to be in full production by the first quarter of 2020. In total, the contract is worth around CHF 74 million.
For Hans Brändle, CEO of Meyer Burger, this agreement is game-changing: “This strategically important order from a well-established and highly respected cell module manufacturer is a real breakthrough. It not only confirms our technology leadership but also substantially strengthens the market acceptance and credibility for our Heterojunction and SmartWire technologies.”
Cutting edge technologies for solar cell production
Heterojunction (HJT) cell technology combines the benefits of crystalline silicon solar cells with those of thin film technologies. It enables solar cells to achieve markedly higher efficiencies. Due to the superior light yield and outstanding passivation properties of amorphous silicon, cell efficiencies in excess of 24% can be attained. Further benefits arise from the relatively simple and economically attractive low-temperature manufacturing concept which requires fewer production steps and reduces energy consumption. The high cell efficiency and lower temperature coefficient also contribute to the significantly increased electricity yield of HJT modules compared to modules with conventional silicon solar cells.
SmartWire cell connection technology (SWCT™) maximizes the energy yield of HJT solar modules and is the perfect combination for an industrialised, highly efficient PV mass production line. The SmartWire method of connecting cells employs an innovative foil-wire electrode which reduces the amount of silver used for each heterojunction solar module by more than 50%, for PV module manufacturers. With its dense wire contact matrix, SWCT™ modules easily satisfy the increased demands for energy generation placed on today’s high-efficiency Heterojunction solar cells.
Overall the market for PV equipment remains challenging, and margin pressure seen for standard PV business solutions underscores the importance of the transformation programme which was announced on 16 October 2018, and makes an increased outsourcing of Meyer Burger’s manufacturing capacity to China all the more important.
For the fiscal year 2018 Meyer Burger confirms net sales within its published guidance range of CHF 400 to 440 million. EBITDA including restructuring costs is expected to be in the higher single digit percentage range (earlier EBITDA guidance 2018 around 10%).
Meyer Burger confirms its previous expectation that once the transformation program is completed, the breakeven level at net earnings can be reached with a net sales volume of about CHF 250 million (as of FY 2021).