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NST places 120 MW order with Oerlikon Solar for solar PV factory in Russia

Nano Solar Technology (NST), a newly formed Russian high-tech firm, has ordered a 120 MW Micromorph® line for production of thin-film solar modules from Oerlikon Solar. With the envisaged production capacity of one million solar modules annually, this could the largest production equipment order to-date in 2009 for the thin-film photovoltaic (PV) market.

Oerlikon Solar's Micromorph technology is said to raise module efficiency by up to 50% over prior generation technologies. The equipment will be delivered in 2010 to the new site currently under construction in Novocheboksarsk (Chuvash Republic). The start of production is scheduled for 2011.

NST is a joint venture between Renova Group and the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (Rusnano). Establishing production of thin-film solar modules in the Chuvash Republic is part of Rusnano's strategy to develop the high tech economy in Russia by co-investing in nanotechnology industry projects. Through acting as a catalyst for private co-investments, Rusnano aims at creating conditions favourable to developing cutting edge nanotechnology in Russia, the joint venture with Renova being an example

"This is a win-win situation for all parties involved. Oerlikon Solar can establish a strong presence in the Russian market and the Russian economy has made another step as a state-of-the-art production site," says Yaroslav Kuznetsov, CEO of NST.

As the Micromorph solar PV technology establishes its foothold in Russia, it seems that Russia is becoming a growing solar market.  "Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States offer great market potential for Oerlikon in the medium and long-term," says Oerlikon CEO Dr. Uwe Krueger.

In addition to the planned production line from Oerlikon, Rusnano plans to set up a major research center that will focus on increasing the effectiveness of the solar modules in cooperation with the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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