London, England — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 21 February 2011 – The Heraeus Photovolataic Business Unit “’ a unit of German precious metals house Heraeus “’ is building a new facility in Singapore to produce silver metallisation paste used in crystalline solar cell applications.
The London-based business unit said the plant would include research and development, manufacturing, sales and technical services, and was expected to begin operations in the second half of 2011.
The new facility will be Heraeus’ fourth manufacturing site of its kind. The company already produces paste for the photovoltaic industry in the United States, Germany and China.
Silver use in the fabrication of photovoltaic cells has grown rapidly in recent years and is set for further expansion, metals consultancy GFMS said in its latest industry report on the metal for the Silver Institute.
Silver prices have rallied sharply in recent years, reaching a 31-year high at $33.50 an ounce today. Analysts say rising industrial demand for the metal is set to be a key support to the market this year.