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. -- January 2, 2014
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 ("Suqian").
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
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 cost.
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 consumer products.
Suqian will also provide a package of additional incentives including:
1.A 5-year corporate tax holiday and a further 50% tax rebate over the next
2.Full rebate of value-added tax for the first 2 years and 50% rebate for
the subsequent 3 years,
3.Free accommodations for up to 3 years for key scientists, engineers and
management personnel of the JV.
4.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
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
Ascent Solar Technologies
Justin R. Jacobs, 1-720-872-5194
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