Ascent Solar Signs Definitive Agreement to Build New Manufacturing Plant in Suqian of Jiangsu Province, China
Suqian will provide RMB200 million ($32.5 million) for the Joint
Venture: agreement reinforces and supersedes the previous framework
agreement announced on July 9, 2013
THORNTON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. ("Ascent") (NASDAQ: ASTI), a developer
and manufacturer of state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film photovoltaic
modules, integrated into off-grid applications and the company's
EnerPlex™ series of consumer products, announced today the signing of a
definitive agreement to establish a joint venture entity ("JV") with the
Government of the Municipal City of Suqian in Jiangsu Province, China
Under this definitive agreement, Suqian will provide cash of
approximately $32.5 million as well as five year rent-free use of
approximately 331,000 square feet of factory & office space in the
Suqian Economic and Industrial Development Science Park. The JV will
build a 100MW factory over six years to manufacture Ascent's proprietary
thin-film Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenium (CIGS) photovoltaic modules on
flexible polyimide in addition to related consumer products.
Ascent shall purchase the factory within 5 years at the initial
construction cost, and will also hold the right to purchase Suqian's
ownership interest in the JV after 5 years at 1.5 times of Suqian's cash
In the initial phase of the project, Ascent and Suqian will form a JV in
which Suqian will inject approximately $4.8 million in cash and have
majority interest of 75%. Ascent shall inject approximately $1.6 million
in cash and hold a minority interest of 25%. Subsequently, during 2014
Suqian will further inject the balance of the committed $32.5 million
while Ascent will contribute its proprietary technology and intellectual
property, as well as certain equipment from its Colorado facility,
thereby increasing its shareholdings progressively up to 80% ownership.
By the first quarter of 2016, the JV is expected to operate an
end-to-end manufacturing plant of 25 megawatts capacity and related
Suqian will also provide a package of additional incentives including:
A 5-year corporate tax holiday and a further 50% tax rebate over the
next 5 years,
Full rebate of value-added tax for the first 2 years and 50% rebate
for the subsequent 3 years,
Free accommodations for up to 3 years for key scientists, engineers
and management personnel of the JV.
As Phase two of this program is implemented, Ascent will have the
option to purchase approximately 215,000 square feet of land zoned for
commercial usage at a favorable price at 10% above the government's
prevailing cost, which may generate income for Ascent.
"The signing of this definitive agreement is a strong endorsement of
Ascent's industry leading flexible CIGS technology," said Victor Lee,
President & CEO of Ascent. "This partnership enables us to accelerate
our transformational consumer-centric strategy with the EnerPlex
consumer brand and specialty off-grid applications given China's huge
and growing consumer base and readily available contract manufacturers."
"We are very excited and honored to be partnering with Ascent Solar,"
said Mr. Lan Shao Min, Top Leader & Governor of the Municipal City of
Suqian. "The Suqian Government is fully committed to this partnership
and shall provide the utmost support and incentives to Ascent. We are
convinced that CIGS, and more specifically Ascent's proprietary CIGS
technology utilizing a flexible plastic substrate, is the next
breakthrough in photovoltaics. The aim of our alliance with Ascent is to
build a state of the art industrial park in Suqian for solar and
solar-related products, anchored by Ascent's manufacturing presence, as
well as equipment suppliers, contract manufacturers and other supporting
Dr. Amit Kumar, Chairman of Ascent, said, "We are pleased with
progressing our alliance with Suqian. The funding and other subsidies
will enable Ascent to develop the scale of manufacturing needed to bring
the cost of CIGS down substantially, and provide product for the large
demand we expect to see in the next few years. The combination of cost
reduction and high margin EnerPlex products along with other specialty
market applications will enable Ascent to transition to its next stage
as a high-growth company. The alliance with Suqian will provide a means
for Ascent to build positive cash flow from numerous sources."
About Ascent Solar Technologies:
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. is a developer of thin-film photovoltaic
modules with substrate materials that can be more flexible and
affordable than most traditional solar panels. Ascent Solar modules can
be directly integrated into standard building materials, aerospace
applications, consumer electronics for portable power or configured as
stand-alone modules for large scale terrestrial deployment. Ascent Solar
is headquartered in Thornton, Colorado. For more information, go to www.ascentsolar.com.
The EnerPlex brand represents Ascent Solar's line of consumer products.
These products, many of which are integrated with Ascent Solar's
transformational CIGS technology, provide consumers with the ability to
integrate solar into their everyday lives, while enabling them to free
themselves and their electronics from the outlet. For more information
on the EnerPlex brand and to see the product line, please visit www.goenerplex.com.
Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical
or current fact constitute "forward-looking statements." Such
forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other unknown factors that could cause the Company's
actual operating results to be materially different from any historical
results or from any future results expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. In addition to statements that explicitly
describe these risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider
statements that contain terms such as "believes," "belief," "expects,"
"expect," "intends," "intend," "anticipate," "anticipates," "plans,"
"plan," to be uncertain and forward-looking. The forward-looking
statements contained herein are also subject generally to other risks
and uncertainties that are described from time to time in the Company's
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ascent Solar Technologies
Investor Relations Contact:
Brion D. Tanous, 310-541-6824
Justin R. Jacobs, 1-720-872-5194
Source: Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.
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