Majority shareholding in Qatar Solar Technologies and a joint venture with SolarWorld AG.

· Major joint venture with industry leader SolarWorld AG

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· Supports economic diversification goals of Qatar National Vision

· First fully operational polysilicon plant in the Middle East

· Signs major contract with Centrotherm Photovoltaics

Doha, Doha, [WorldofRenewables.com]

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development today announced its entry into the solar energy sector through the creation of a joint venture company which in the first phase will produce solar grade polysilicon, the essential ingredient of solar panels.

Qatar Foundation will have a majority shareholding in Qatar Solar Technologies, or QST, a joint venture with SolarWorld AG, one of the world’s largest solar companies, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany. Qatar Foundation’s ownership stake will be 70%, and that of SolarWorld 29%, with an additional 1% in the hands of the Qatar Development Bank.

QST will develop a new plant at Ras Laffan Industrial City, in the north east of Qatar, which will be one of the first operational polysilicon plants in the region. The plant will produce well over 3,500 tonnes per annum and has been designed with future expansion in mind which would enable it to significantly increase production capacity.

The initial investment in Qatar Solar Technologies is valued at over USD$500m and will provide employment for several hundred people in a wide range of fields.

Qatar Foundation’s first investment in the renewable energy sector supports their strategic objectives to diversify Qatar’s economy, drive high-technology research and development in the country, and promote the Foundation’s financial sustainability. It is also evidence of the commitment of Qatar Foundation and the State of Qatar to addressing the pressing environmental concerns of our day by investing in renewable energy.

The process technology and equipment to produce polysilicon will come from the leading German solar company Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG. Centrotherm Photovoltaics specialises in providing key equipment and services for the solar industry. The contract was awarded immediately after the joint venture announcement.

Further contract awards are expected to take place in the near future.

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