Saint-Gobain, Shell open 20 MW PV plant

French construction materials and specialty-glass maker Saint-Gobain SA and Anglo-Dutch oil group Royal Dutch Shell have inaugurated a 20 MW photovoltaic panel plant in the town of Torgau, eastern Ger…

French construction materials and specialty-glass maker Saint-Gobain SA and Anglo-Dutch oil group Royal Dutch Shell have inaugurated a 20 MW photovoltaic panel plant in the town of Torgau, eastern Germany. The EUR 65 million (USD 87 million) factory will be operated by Avancis, a 50/50 joint-venture set up by Shell and Saint-Gobain. The annual production capacity of the facility is expected to be 165,000 PV panels, each of 1.0 square meter (10.76 square feet). Moreover, Avancis plans to book revenue of between EUR 600 million and EUR 700 million in 2013. The investment in Germany is in line with Saint-Gobain“s strategy of improving its positions in the solar energy market and increasing the revenue from its solar energy business to EUR 2.0 billion by 2013. According to Saint-Gobain CEO Pierre-Andre de Chalendar, Shell and Saint-Gobain may invest in an even larger PV facility in Torgau, but the final decision will be made at the end of 2008.