JAPAN & USA: Solar wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies and Tokuyama Corp., the leading silicon producer in Japan and the fourth largest producer of silicon in the world, entered into a strategic partnership designed to drive down the cost of photovoltaics.
While the terms of the non-equity partnership were not disclosed, the two companies will combine resources and collaborate on research and development efforts with the aim to accelerate the adoption of 1366’s Direct Wafer technology. 1366’s Direct Wafer is a transformative manufacturing process that produces a uniformly better silicon wafer at half the cost.
“Strong partners are an essential element to our success, and we have found another in Tokuyama. This is a fantastic validation of our technology with tremendous upside,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO, 1366 Technologies. “When many in the solar industry are pulling back, 1366 and Tokuyama are readying for the inevitable global market turnaround.”
“For nearly a century, Tokuyama has taken pride in its ability to pursue innovation and make the world a better place. Our strategic partnership with 1366 is a prime example of that commitment,” said Hidenori Okamoto, managing executive officer, Tokuyama. “We’re very excited to bring our materials expertise to the table.”
Earlier this year, 1366 celebrated the opening of a new, 25 MW wafer manufacturing facility, the final step in the path to commercialization of the company’s Direct Wafer technology. Since its founding in 2007, the company has steadily and quietly reached new technical heights, achieving competitive cell efficiencies of 17 percent in customer trials and sharply reducing the variance in wafer product quality.