The Bosch Group is to build a manufacturing facility in the Batu Kawan region in Penang, Malaysia, to expand its activities in photovoltaics.
With a planned investment of around €520m (£234m), the manufacturing site will mainly serve Asia’s solar-energy market, which is growing strongly. Components for manufacturing sites in other countries will also be produced at the Malaysian site.
Construction of the facility is set to begin before the end of this year, while production is planned to start by the end of 2013. The facility will eventually employ 2,000 people, who will be engaged in the production of silicon ingots, solar cells and solar modules.
The decision to build a new site in Asia reflects general developments in the global market for photovoltaics. By 2020, total installed output in the Asian market is expected to reach a 130GW peak. There are currently 5GW installed.
In the spring of this year, Bosch announced that it would build another manufacturing facility for solar modules in Vénissieux, France, with the aim of serving the French and southern European markets.
In Germany, which is currently Bosch Solar Energy’s main market, total newly installed output is expected to remain constant at around 3.5GW per year.