With an official ceremony M+W Group's customer 3SUN has celebrated the inauguration of its new photovoltaic module plant in the Sicilian town of Catania (Italy). 3SUN is a joint venture of Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics.
M+W Group had been appointed as general contractor to convert the former semiconductor fabrication facility into a PV module factory, which is now operational for the production of the first modules for certification and samples. With a final production output of up to 480MWe the 3SUN factory will be Italy's largest PV panel manufacturing plant.
In detail the contract as general contractor covered the engineering, procurement and construction work for the factory conversion across all technical disciplines. This additionally included the upgrading of a trigeneration energy centre to supply the plant with combined power, heating and cooling generation. It will produce about 10MWe of electrical energy plus 10MWe of thermal energy recovered for cooling and for heating. The contract also included the automation system for the glass handling interfacing through robots, lifters and conveyors to the sharp production line and logistics.
In order to enable 3SUN to start production as quickly as possible M+W Group has converted the existing empty semiconductor manufacturing complex with an area of about 100,000m² (of which over 50,000 are for manufacturing and logistics). The contract with M+W Group had been signed in August 2010 and the industrial mass production will start in September / October 2011.