company_name = ersol Solar Energy AG
company_| company_type = Public (FWB|ES6)
company_slogan = ersol.Right from the start.
foundation = 1997
key_people = Dr Claus Beneking (CEO)Ekhard von Dewitz (CFO)Juergen Pressl (COO) Peter Schneidewind (Deputy Board Member)
num_employees = 802 (as of 31 December 2007)
industry = Renewable Energies,
revenue = 160.2 million
homepage = [http://www.ersol.de/en/home/ www.ersol.de]
ersol is a German
waferand solar cellmanufacturer, based in Erfurt, which specialises in silicon-based pholtovoltaic products. The company consists of the divisions Silicon, Wafers, Solar Cells and Modules. It has been listed on the German stock exchange since 30 September 2005 and on 19 December 2005 its shares were admitted to the TecDAX. The enterprise was founded in 1997 as ErSol Solarstrom GmbH & Co. KG.
The set-up years 1997-2004
ErSol Solarstrom GmbH & Co. KG was founded on 12 March 1997 by five private persons led by Jürgen Hartwig. The first manufacturing facility was a production line for multicrystalline silicon solar cells 100 mm x 100 mm in size.
In 2001 the company was converted to a public limited company with Dr Claus Beneking as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and has since been operating under the name of ersol Solar Energy AG. In the course of 2002 the production capacity already grew to about 10 MWp. The following years 2002 to 2004 were marked by the market launch of the multicrystalline cell E6+ BluePower® and the first
monocrystalline ersol solar cell E6M+ BlackPower® (both in the format 156 mm x 156 mm).
Initial public offering (IPO)
ersol Solar Energy AG went public on 30 September 2005. Its shares were listed in the Prime Standard on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and admitted to the TecDAX in the same year. In the course of a capital increase, Ventizz Capital Fund II became a majority shareholder. The acquisition of ingot and wafer manufacturer ASi Industries GmbH in
Arnstadt, whose Managing Director Jürgen Pressl was appointed to the ersol Management Board, marked the beginning of substantial business expansion activities in the ersol Group. Corporate revenue grew to € 64 million and operative earnings reached € 9.5 million. The production capacity was increased to 60 MWp.
Continued growth since 2006
In February 2006 ersol acquired Silicon Recycling Services Inc. (SRS), a Californian silicon recycler, and decided to drastically expand the divisions Solar Cells (220 MWp nominal capacity at the end of 2008), Wafers (180 MWp nominal capacity at the end of 2008) and Modules (amorphous silicon thin-film modules, 40 MWp nominal capacity at the end of 2008) involving a total investment volume of about € 200 million. In July 2006 this was followed by the groundbreaking for the thin-film plant (ersol Thin Film GmbH), and subsequently the start of the construction project for Solar Cell Plant 2 at Arnstadt, which was inaugurated in November 2007 in the presence of Sigmar Gabriel, German Minister of the Environment (proposed nominal capacity: 120 MWp by 2007). The expansion was funded by way of a € 157 million consortium loan agreement led by Deutsche Bank, which ersol had already signed in October 2006.
The outstanding event at the turn of the year 2006/2007 was a change in the management board. Chief Financial Officer Frank Müllejans retired from the company and was succeeded by Ekhard von Dewitz, who had originally joined ersol Thin Film GmbH as Commercial Manager. Ekhard von Dewitz is now in charge of the two positions simultaneously. 2007 marked the ten-year anniversary of ersol Solar Energy AG, reason enough for a change in corporate design throughout the ersol Group. At the 22nd European Photovoltaic Conference and Exhibition (PVSEC) in Milan ersol unveiled a solar panel based on 16 monocrystalline SuperSize solar cells with an edge length of 210 x 210 mm, developed in cooperation with project partners Crystal Growing Systems GmbH (CGS), SolarZentrum Erfurt, Roth & Rau AG and Day4 Energy Inc. On 31 December 2007 the group had a payroll exceeding 800.
On 2 June, 2008 Bosch acquired majority stake (50.45%) in Ersol. [ [http://www.ersol.de/en/newsmediarelations/pressreleases/pressrelease/news/1212386257/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=35&cHash=41b8c9b284 "Agreement between Ventizz and Bosch regarding sale of majority stake in ersol", "ersol"] 4 June, 2008]
tructure and products
ersol is subdivided into four different divisions according to product groups. The various subsidiaries are responsible to these divisions:
*"ersol Silicon" with subsidiary Silicon Recycling Services Inc., based in
Camarillo, California, recycles scrap silicon in the form of by- und waste products from the semiconductor and solar industry, and makes them re-usable for solar cell manufacture.
*"ersol Wafers" with subsidiary ASi Industries GmbH in Arnstadt, manufactures monocrystalline
ingots and wafers. The monocrystalline ingots are produced by a pulling process, the so-called Czochralsky method. Subsequently, thin “slices” – the wafers – are sawn from them. Their current thickness is 240 to 200 µm, although 180 µm wafers have already been produced. ersol Wafers was one of the first production facilities outside the United States to process its own cutting fluid (slurry).
*"ersol Solar Cells" produces
solar cells in the format 156 mm x 156 mm and is the core business sector. At a thickness of 200 µm and less, the average efficiency of monocrystalline ersol solar cells is around 17%. The share of production dedicated to higher-grade monocrystalline cells compared to multicrystalline solar cells is increasing and currently stands at about 80%. The parent company ersol Solar Energy AG is responsible for production at its plants in Erfurt and Arnstadt.
*"ersol Modules" is accountable for all group activities relating to the production and sale of solar modules. The division incorporates Erfurt-based ersol Thin Film GmbH, which is devoted to the production of thin-film solar modules and achieves significant savings in the raw material silicon with the aid of thin-film technology. In addition, ersol markets crystalline solar modules from solar cells produced by ersol and other manufacturers through its Erfurt-based trading subsidiary ersol Crystalline Modules GmbH. The division also has a crystalline module production line at the planning stage.
The management board of ersol Solar Energy AG consists of four members:
*Dr. Claus Beneking, CEO (responsible for production and sale of crystalline modules, corporate strategy, research and development, human resources and investor relations)
*Ekhard von Dewitz, CFO (responsible for finances, controlling, IT, internal administration and legal affairs)
*Jürgen Pressl, COO (responsible for Silicon, Wafers and Solar Cells business segments)
*Peter Schneidewind, Deputy Board Member (responsible for Thin Film segment)
* [http://www.ersol.de Corporate website of ersol Solar Energy AG]
* [http://www.ukenergydigital.co.uk/Energy/Bosch-to-acquire-51-percent-stake-in-ersol_6074.aspx Bosch to acquire 51 percent stake in ersol]
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