January 11, 2008 (EETimes.com) – Oerlikon Solar plans to open a new facility in Singapore in an effort to increase its presence in the Asia region. The facility will initially employ approximately 100 people and is planned to be completed within a year. ”Asia is emerging as an important market for solar energy applications,” said Uwe Kruger, CEO of the Oerlikon Group, in a statement. ”The new location will allow Oerlikon Solar to build the necessary capacity to expand its market-leading position.”Headquartered in Trubbach, Switzerland, Oerlikon Solar is a supplier of equipment for the solar industry. Product offerings include automated turnkey lines, laser systems and advanced machining. It is part of the Oerlikon Group, formerly called Unaxis.
With the recent announcements by CMC Magnetics and Auria Solar, Oerlikon Solar already has two big customers in key Asian markets.
Asia will grow to become one of the leading areas in the world for solar panel production. Based on recent announcements, the Asian capacity for solar panels produced will grow to more then 4 GWp (gigawatt peak) by 2010, which is more than double that of the U.S. and Europe, according to the company.
The company is one of several merchant equipment suppliers in solar. Amtech, Applied, BTU, Spire and others compete in the fragmented field.