Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (“Ascent”) (NASDAQ: ASTI), a manufacturer of state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, integrated into off-grid applications and the company’s EnerPlex™ series of consumer products, announced today the attainment of a key milestone for its China Joint Venture. In December of 2013, Ascent and the Suqian Municipality of Jiangsu Province (“Suqian”) agreed to create a Joint Venture to build a manufacturing facility in China, in which Suqian would provide a cash injection of $32.5 million dollars, as well as 5-years free usage of the newly built manufacturing facility along with a 5-year tax holiday and significant trade incentives. Ascent would provide proprietary technology, equipment and know-how to operate the plant as well as a nominal amount of cash. Ascent’s ownership in the JV would progressively grow up to 80% of the JV after all of these items are completed.
Ascent has officially been granted the Business License as well as the Certificate of Approval for Establishment of Enterprises with Foreign Investment in the People’s Republic of China. These documents were the main gating factors for starting the operations of the JV. Now, several activities will start concurrently including the cash injection by Suqian into the JV and the transfer of proprietary technology and under-utilized equipment by Ascent. As announced on June 23, 2014, Suqian has ascribed a value of RMB 400 million (approximately $77 million dollars) to Ascent’s proprietary technology, representing 48% of Ascent’s required contribution to the JV. Ascent expects that certain components of the JV factory will be in operation by the end of Q1 2015.
“We are pleased to have this approval from the appropriate government agencies, which has gone through a stringent process including lengthy feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments”, said Victor Lee, President and CEO of Ascent. “As we build and transfer much of our manufacturing operations to Suqian, we expect to dramatically reduce our production costs, logistics costs, and overhead costs among others, enabling meaningful improvements in margin as we ramp up the production capacity. The factory also provides close proximity to the region exhibiting tremendous growth for consumer electronic products like EnerPlex.”
About Ascent Solar Technologies:
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. is a developer of thin-film photovoltaic modules using flexible substrate materials that can transform the way solar power generation integrates into everyday life. Ascent Solar modules, which were named one of TIME Magazine’s 50 best inventions for 2011, can be directly incorporated into standard building materials, commercial transportation, automotive solutions, space applications, consumer electronics for portable power and durable off-grid solutions. More information can be found at http://www.ascentsolar.com.
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