Algerian telecoms and renewables company Milltech is building a 100 MW annual capacity solar module factory in the industrial zone of Boukerana in Chelghoum El Aid, in the Mila province in the north east of the country.
The company is investing around €6 million in the facility and says it could double output capacity within a year. “Manufacturing activities at the factory should start in April,” chief operating officer Mohamed Hamoud told pv magazine. “Milltech will produce PV panels with 60 and 72 cells, covering all possible technologies existing in the market.”
Output is planned to include double-glass, glass and backsheet and mono and polycrystalline PERC products, specified Hamoud, who said the company’s technology and equipment will be “100% European”.
The panels produced at the facility will meet IEC 61215 and IEC 61730 standards and be produced on equipment which meets the module certification standards of German inspection company TÜV Rheinland, according to the chief operating officer, who said the production line supplied by Spanish company Mondragon is at the launch phase.
Factory output will be intended chiefly for the domestic market but Milltech did not rule out exports.
“We are also working on an agreement with [the] CDER, [an Algerian] research center devoted to [the] development of renewable energies,” said Hamoud. “The center is able to perform 12 different tests on the modules to allow them to be commercialized in the Algerian market.”
The new fab will be the country’s third solar panel manufacturing facility. Condor operates a 130 MW factory in Bordj Bou Arreridj and Aurés Solaire runs a 30 MW facility in the Ain Yagout industrial area near Batna, eastern Algeria.
The development of a solar module manufacturing industry is being supported by the Algerian government through domestic content requirements in tenders for large scale PV projects.