Swedish BIPV module maker and CIGS turnkey equipment supplier Midsummer has started work on its 50 MW manufacturing plant in Bari, in the southern Italian region of Puglia.

The company said the plant was under construction with support from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and Italian investment institution Invitalia, part of the Italian Ministry of Finance, which granted a loan at a low interest rate of 38 million euros for the project.

In total, Midsummer plans to invest around 66 million euros in the new manufacturing plant. Production is expected to start next summer. About 35% of the investment would be covered by grants and 23% by low interest loans. The funds come from the Italian government’s economic stimulus program to rebuild the economy.

“We will increase our maximum production capacity tenfold and the plant will make Midsummer the largest manufacturer of thin-film solar cells in Europe,” said CEO Sven Lindström. So far, the manufacturer, who in addition to flexible thin-film modules also offers solar tiles, has a production site in Järfälla, Sweden.

The factory will be equipped with its own DUO machines.

Midsummer says he saw a 500% increase in incoming orders in the third quarter. Demand for its photovoltaic modules, which are only two millimeters thick and extremely light, at three kilograms per square meter, would be very strong in the Nordic countries. The products that will be produced in Bari in the future are primarily intended for customers in southern Europe, the manufacturer said.

The plant will be operated by the 100% subsidiary Midsummer Italia.

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