Saudi Focus

Largest solar panel factory deal

February 2016

Saudi Arabia’s Al Afandi Group has announced plans to build the largest fully-integrated solar panels factory in the Middle East.

The group has signed a property contract with the Royal Commission in Yanbu to build the state-of-the-art factory on a 55,000-sq-m area in the first phase of the project.

Based on the multiphase plans, the factory in Phase One will be able to produce solar panels that generate 120 MW (or the equivalent of 450,000 solar panels) of electricity per year.

The contract was signed between Royal Commission in Yanbu CEO Dr A’laa bin Abdullah Naseef and Al Afandi Group chairman Sheikh Ibrahim Al Afandi.

The factory will have a fully integrated production line to build the solar panels from scratch, said Al Rasheed Alkibsy, business development director at the Al Afandi Group.

The process involves smelting of crude polysilicon to produce polycrystalline silicon ingots and then slicing of these blocks into very thin wafers, which are the main building blocks to creating solar cells. Then they will be assembled into solar panels, which are framed and sealed with a protective glass cover. The entire production line is fully automated and produces state-of-the-art, repeatable quality products, Alkibsy said.

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