Ascent Forms Venture to Build Solar Factory in Eastern China

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (ASTI) agreed to build a manufacturing plant in eastern China.

Ascent will produce thin-film solar products in Suqian, in Jiangsu province, the Thornton, Colorado-based company said today in a statement.

In the first phase of the agreement, Ascent will own as much as 80 percent of a joint venture it will form with the city of Suqian. The solar company will provide $1.6 million in cash and equipment and the municipal government will contribute $32.5 million and rent-free use of a 270,000 square-foot facility.

The budget for the first phase is about $160 million and Ascent may purchase the plant anytime within five years at the initial construction cost. The partners expect the agreement to eventually include three phases.

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