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Saint-Gobain to buy German photovoltaic firm

Saint-Gobain is to buy Shell's share of the German PV firm Avancis, a joint venture between the two companies.
Avancis makes thin-film CIS (Copper, Indium and Selenide) used in the manufacture of photovoltaic modules. With an annual capacity of 20 megawatts, the company's first plant is already operating in Torgau, Germany.

Avancis' technology requires expertise in glass coating and in glass thermal treatment, two processes which are part of Saint-Gobain's technology used for flat glass for buildings. Saint-Gobain says it plans to speed up the industrial development of Avancis.

Saint-Gobain provides solar energy products via its business Saint-Gobain Solar. Saint-Gobain Solar's strategy is focused on three areas:

- The making and selling of high-tech components for PV modules (special glass, performance plastics, etc.) and high-performance mirrors for solar thermal plant operators.

- The production by its Avancis company of thin-film PV modules using CIS technology, for distributors and integrators.

- The design and marketing of PV solutions for homes, offices and industrial installations.
12 August 2009

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