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GT Solar Opens New Asia Headquarters in Hong Kong

The company has also announced upgrades to its line of DSS ingot growth furnaces.

 GT Solar International, a global provider of materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets has announced that it has opened its new Asia operations headquarters in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong headquarters better serves the needs of its customers throughout the Asia Pacific region.

“Over eighty-five percent of our business now comes from Asia, particularly from China where most of our customers are located,” said Tom Gutierrez, president and CEO of GT Solar. “Our Asia headquarters is the next logical step in developing the most appropriate business model to support our growing customer base in the region. By focusing the operations of our business in Hong Kong, we will be more responsive to our local customers and continue to provide the high quality products and high levels of support they have come to expect from GT Solar.”

“Hong Kong is the ideal place to locate our Asia headquarters,” said Jeff Ford, managing director for GT Solar Hong Kong, Limited. “It offers a favorable business climate with a deep pool of talent that we have already taken advantage of to build a world-class team of experienced professionals to lead our business. Our local team includes sales, business development, service, supply chain, logistics, and quality assurance. Expanding these business functions directly in the region allows us to compete more effectively in the fast-growing solar market.”

GT Solar has been doing business in Asia since 2002. Since then the company has played an important role as an equipment provider, to helping the region’s early adopters establish their PV and polysilicon manufacturing operations. Today, many of these companies have grown to become some of the region’s largest solar manufacturers in China, Korea, and Taiwan, and are using GT Solar products and technologies to improve productivity and lower their cost of manufacturing.

In September of 2009, the company opened its facility in Shanghai, China to provide greater service and support to its growing customer base in the region. The Shanghai facility will continue to provide installation resources, demonstration capabilities for customers wishing to test new process recipes, product training and spare parts inventory. PV equipment product development, engineering and R&D will remain in the company’s corporate headquarters in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and product development, engineering and R&D for its polysilicon equipment will remain in Missoula, Montana.

GT Solar also announced that its next DSS crystalline growth furnace, the DSS650, has begun beta production evaluation with customers. The new system provides an upgrade path for current customers using DSS 240, DSS450 and DSS450HP systems in their production environments. The DSS650 is capable of producing ingots larger than 600 kilograms and is compatible with the chamber configuration of current DSS systems. Commercial availability of the new system is expected for early calendar year 2011.

“The DSS650 continues our commitment to customers to lower their manufacturing costs by leveraging their investment in our crystalline growth furnaces to take advantage of new technology,” continued Gutierrez. “We designed the new DSS650 system so current customers can easily upgrade to the new system, which underscores our commitment to protecting our customers’ investment in GT Solar DSS equipment.”

With over 1,700 systems in the field, GT Solar’s DSS ingot growth furnaces are widely used in PV wafering operations. GT Solar’s innovation and expertise in mechanical design, vacuum and high-pressure chambers, control system design, and crystal growth modeling, provide customers with a technologically advanced directional solidification furnace that consistently produces high quality ingots with optimized mass ingot yield.
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