Renowned Saudi Arabian group, Ajlan & Bros, and Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, the world’s largest thin-film power solution company, have inked a deal to set up a manufacturing unit in Saudi Arabia, with an investment of $1 billion.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the launch of the Saudi Arabia National Industrial Development and Logistics Program—part of the ambitious Saudi 2030 program—which plans to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil and make it a manufacturing and tourism hub.
Under the agreement the two companies will collaborate to develop renewable energy manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia and jointly seek relevant investment opportunities.
"We are excited to collaborate with Hanergy. Thin-film power is a promising market, especially in Saudi Arabia. The renewable energy facilities are bound to reform the landscape of the country's energy industry and help us achieve our goals," said Mohamed Al Ajlan, Deputy Chairman of Ajlan Bros.
A thin-film solar panel is made of thin films of semiconductors deposited on glass, plastic or metal. They are up to 20 times thinner than conventional solar panels, which makes them flexible and lightweight. If the thin-film cells are encased in plastic, the product could even be flexible enough to mold to the shapes of buildings or other objects. Thin film technology is not widely used so far because it has traditionally been less efficient than regular solar panels, but the gap in efficiencies between the two technologies is getting smaller according to some reports.