SOUTH Perth-based Prime Solar Pty Ltd has announced plans to establish a manufacturing facility in Germany to produce 680MW per annum silicon wafers with an estimated project cost of $700 million. Prime Solar CFO Joseph Alexander said “the company is currently raising capital for the first phase of 50MW per annum wafers manufacturing project”. The facility will operate 24 hours a day and offer over 1,000 full-time employment opportunities. The company, established on February 1 this year, has already announced that it has started preparations for a photovoltaic project at Perenjori, 348 kilometres north-east of Perth, capable of producing up to 2MW of power for the small community. That project is estimated to cost between $14 million and $18 million, with a final figure depending on the last stage of design. The silicon wafers are the base components for the fabrication of solar cells and the wafers produced by Prime Solar will be used in the manufacture of silicon solar cells by Q-Cells of Germany. “The first phase of the project of 50MW per annum capacity will be set up at Thalheim, Germany’s ‘Solar Valley’ approximately 50 kilometres north of Leipzig in 2006-07 with a total project cost of $60 million,” said John Carstairs, chairman of Prime Solar and a former director of CBH Group.