Solar glass manufacturer sets new benchmark

Chinese PV glass manufacturer Chang Zhou Almaden Ltd is to imminently open a new photovoltaic glass manufacturing and training facility in Dubai.

The company, one of the world's biggest producers of PV anti-reflective coated glass, had signed an agreement with the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority to build the new 15,000-square-meter factory at the Dubai Silicon Oasis Integrated Free Zone Technology Park. Budgeted at AED 110 million ($30 million) and set to be completed early next year, the Almaden facility is designed to produce up to 400,000 PV panels annually.

The plant will produce specialized super thin dual glass PV panels to suit the desert climate, especially for residential buildings, car parking areas, green houses, roof tops and solar farms. The complex will also host a state-of-the-art training center aimed at raising awareness about green energy and sustainable solutions for the MENA region.

Mohammad Alzarooni, vice chairman and CEO of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said, "We welcome Chang Zhou Almaden to the hi-tech park and look forward to a symbiotic partnership with the world’s largest producer of anti-reflective glass. The Middle East is rapidly gaining international attention as an emerging market for solar energy. This has led to high uptake for innovative technologies."

Chang Zhou Almaden Chairman Jinxi Lin added, "Solar is definitely the energy source for the future and although there are huge challenges facing the industry, we believe Almaden will create an impact on the market with our improved eco-friendly technology, competitive pricing and quality standards."

Lin said the company's ultra-thin dual glass PV panel had been especially designed for the hot summers of the Middle East, allowing minimal power loss in high humidity and high temperature environments.

“The continued growing synergy between the glass and solar sectors is of great importance to all those considering a foothold in the Middle East” said Muhammed Kazi of DMG Events Middle East, organisers of this year’s Gulf Glass 2015 and GulfSol 2015 exhibitions in Dubai.

“Increasingly, the world’s leading manufacturers see the region as not only being a dynamic market in their own right, but also a perfect launchpad for the rapidly expanding markets of Africa, and even a more cost effective base for targeting Europe” he added.

“Stability in the UAE is a key advantage for companies looking to establish themselves. This is even more the case as exports from China are increasingly under pressure from anti-dumping legislation in key export markets, meaning many are looking to have a footprint overseas.”

Given all this high-speed development, it’s not surprising that this year’s events have already attracted a very high profile:

“We are seeing an unprecedented rate of bookings” adds Muhammed Kazi, “as companies worldwide realise that Dubai is a true global meeting place, as well as being at the heart of a dynamic region” he says.