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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > > RUSNANO and RENOVA Group sign investment agreement to set up a Russia's largest solar modules manufacturing facility

Eugene Birger
Principal Analyst

Anatoly Chubais, CEO of RUSNANO and Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of RENOVA Group, signed Contract on investment and execution of participation rights (Investment Agreement) for the newly established company during St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

June 6th, 2009

RUSNANO and RENOVA Group sign investment agreement to set up a Russia's largest solar modules manufacturing facility

As was announced in May, RUSNANO Supervisory Council approved participation of the Corporation in thin film solar modules manufacturing project.

In the Investment Agreement, the Parties have agreed to establish a joint venture to manufacture solar modules based on thin film technology provided by Oerlikon Solar (Switzerland). Total investment in the project is 20.1 bln rubles. RUSNANO will contribute 3.7 bln rubles to the equity of the new company. In addition, the corporation will make available to the project company a loan of 9.8 bln rubles. RUSNANO will hold a 49 percent share in the equity of the project company. RENOVA will hold a 51 percent interest in its equity and be responsible for development of the business.

The solar module manufacturing facility will be located in an industrial site of Khimprom OJSC in Novocheboksarsk town of Chuvash republic and have design capacity of one million solar modules per year, which corresponds to 120 MW per year.

The Project is scheduled to begin in Q3 2009 and reach full operational capacity in Q4 2011. Revenue of the project company in 2015 is forecasted at 10.3 bln rubles.

The manufacturing facility will be collocated with a large research center, which adds particular significance to the project. The research center will work on boosting the efficiency of solar modules in close cooperation with Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science.

The project will employ the most recent global developments in thin film manufacturing. The base technology to be used in the project is micromorph silicon-based thin film photocells.

Solar modules manufacturing is consistent with RUSNANO strategy to deliver cluster projects resulting in creation of full-fledged nanotechnology products interrelated in manufacturing technology or process flow. Such projects will serve as a backbone for establishing the new innovative fields of Russian economy.

Earlier RUSNANO Supervisory Council approved participation in another solar energy project—construction of Russia's first large scale facility for producing polycrystalline silicon and monosilane to be used as raw materials for solar batteries.

In addition, the thin film manufacturing project will give rise to auxiliary manufacturing facilities in Russia, in particular, manufacturing of high-purity process gases and specialized glass.

The market for solar energy has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years. According to data from U.S.-based research company Lux Research, in 2008 the market reached $33.3 bln, or around 5 GW. In monetary terms the market has increased more than 11-fold since 2001. The market for silicon thin-film solar modules in 2008 was valued at 0.6 GW, but by 2012 it is expected to grow to 2.4 GW, which, in monetary terms, is growth from $3.8 bln to $8.6 bln.

Markets in countries in Southern Europe—Italy, Spain, Greece and Germany are primary targets for the sale of products. Avelar Energy Group (part of the RENOVA Group), which installs and adjusts solar modules in Europe, will handle product sales. In the long term, up to 15 percent of the solar modules are to be directed toward the Russian market.

Renova Group ( is a leading privately owned Russian business group, possessing and managing assets in metallurgical, oil, ore mining, chemical, construction industries, energy, telecommunications, hi-tech engineering, utility services and financial sector in Russia and abroad (CIS countries, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa and USA). Largest Renova Group assets are participation interests in TNK-BP, UC RUSAL, IES, as well as in Swiss OC Oerlikon and Sulzer technology groups, where Renova Group is a major shareholder.

Oerlikon Solar ( is a leading company in the dynamically growing market of equipment for manufacturing of large area thin film solar modules. Technologies of Oerlikon are recognized as decreasing operational expenses by more than 30 percent compared to conventional crystalline solar elements. The company operates in regions of the world showing the most advanced development of technology: Europe, North America and South-East Asia.

Avelar Energy ( is a large operating company in European energy market who's major shareholder is Renova Group.
The company was established in December 2006. Avelar Energy is focused on operations with conventional and renewable energy sources, ranging from gas production to energy distribution to private consumers (from different sources).

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