EDF Energies Nouvelles places 3-year order to buy solar modules from Photowatt
CAMBRIDGE, ON, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - Photowatt International, the solar products manufacturing business of ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., today announced it has signed a three-year agreement to supply EDF Energies Nouvelles - a world-class player in the green electricity generation market and an affiliate of Electricité de France - with refined metallurgical silicon solar modules.
The agreement stipulates that Photowatt will provide EDF Energies Nouvelles with 10 megawatts (MWs) of refined metallurgical silicon modules per annum from 2008 through to December 31, 2010, for a total of 30 MWs. In addition, EDF Energies Nouvelles has the option of ordering another 7.5 MW of refined metallurgical silicon products in 2008 and another 15 MWs per year in 2009 and 2010.
"This is the first multi-year order that Photowatt has secured for its refined metallurgical silicon products," said John K. Bell, ATS Chief Executive Officer. "In this regard, it is a breakthrough and provides Photowatt with a high quality customer for a substantial portion of its annual output of metallurgical silicon modules. There is a high degree of trust between the parties and a commitment to work together to enjoy the benefits of power efficiency gains we can achieve."
About EDF Energies Nouvelles
EDF Energies Nouvelles, a 50%-owned subsidiary of the EDF group (Electricité de France), is a world-class player in the green energy generation market and renewable energies with gross installed capacity of 1,188 MW worldwide at June 30, 2007 (including net capacity of 868 MW). With a presence in 9 European countries and in the United States, EDF Energies Nouvelles operates in four renewable energy segments (solar, wind, biomass and hydro). Since November 2006, EDF Energies Nouvelles has been listed in Compartment A of the Eurolist by Euronext Paris (code: EEN, ISIN code: FR0010400143). www.edf-energies-nouvelles.com.
Photowatt is a 60 MW integrated designer, manufacturer and marketer of solar modules and installation kits used by customers throughout Europe and the United States. A pioneer in the photovoltaic industry, Photowatt has been developing and selling its well-recognized products since 1979. Its integrated ingot, wafer, cell and module production capabilities, silicon processing technologies, advanced wafer sawing techniques, established market positions, relationships with key distributors and installers and value-added design services, provide it with distinct competitive advantages in the growing global solar industry. Based near Lyon France, Photowatt employs approximately 700 people and its PW 1650 solar modules were recently ranked first place by Photon International in annual energy generated per watt peak installed. (www.photowatt.com).
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems' needs of multinational customers in industries such as healthcare, computer/electronics, automotive and consumer products. It also leverages its many years of repetitive manufacturing experience and skills to fulfill the specialized repetitive equipment manufacturing requirements of customers. Through its Photowatt solar business, ATS participates in the growing solar energy industry and through its precision components business it produces, in high volume, precision components and subassemblies. ATS employs approximately 3,500 people at 24 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe, southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This news release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ATS, or developments in ATS's business or in its industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all disclosure regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Forward-looking statements may also include, without limitation, any statement relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. ATS cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, expected timing of deliveries under the contract that is announced in this news release; the estimated solar power capacity to be manufactured; and enjoyment of benefits of power efficiency gains. The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements include, among others; general market performance; market performance within the solar sector; ability to secure required funding for the solar business; performance of ATS's solar business; currency fluctuations; inability to finalize agreements and secure funding necessary for the lab fab project; that Photowatt is unable to achieve technical advances in cell efficiency; potential inability of silicon suppliers to meet delivery and schedule targets; reversal of current silicon supply arrangements; possibility that improvements in production efficiencies will not be obtained and/or, if they are, will not be sufficient to offset higher silicon costs and shortages and any reductions in average selling price of solar products; the cost and availability of silicon and other raw materials and certain specialized manufacturing tools and fixtures used in the production of Photowatt's products; the successful expansion of production capability and adoption of new production processes; the extent of market demand for solar products such as those developed by the solar business; the availability and timing of government subsidies for solar products, the development of superior or alternative technologies to those developed by the solar business; and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's filings with Canadian provincial securities regulators, including ATS's Annual Report and Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions, and ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change.
For further information:
John K. Bell, ATS Chief Executive Officer