WATERLOO, ON, Oct. 13 /CNW/ - ARISE Technologies Corporation (TSX: APV and Frankfurt: A3T), which is dedicated to becoming a leader in high-performance, high-quality, cost-effective solar technology, today announced that it has received a Letter of Intent (LOI) for (euro)9.54million of funding from the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's largest Federal State, towards launching ARISE Technology Centre GmbH, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
This funding will be part of a broader financing program that ARISE anticipates will involve several partners, grants, and funding sources. This funding would provide approximately 20% of the estimated expenses for this multi-year program. ARISE expects that this LOI will be turned into a binding commitment in the coming months once the other partners, grants, and funding sources are in place. All expenses incurred from the date of the LOI are eligible expenses and will be reimbursed upon signing the definitive agreement.
ARISE's plant in Bischofswerda, Germany is expected to be the principal beneficiary of the technology improvements coming from the Technology Centre. ARISE expects the efficiencies of the cells being produced at the Bischofswerda plant will increase significantly as a result of the research and development work being done at the Gelsenkirchen laboratory of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems and German and Canadian universities, and in the ARISE Technology Centre.
ARISE Technologies Corporation owns the new Technology Centre, and the work that will be carried out there. As ARISE Technologies Germany (GmbH) receives the full range of benefits of using the technology, it is understood that there will be the usual intra-company charges, etc. set up by the companies advisors to deal with the funding and tax issues.
In the coming months, as ARISE goes through the transition phase of shifting the Gelsenkirchen plant from its former use as a PV cell factory towards becoming a Technology Centre implementing high-efficiency PV cell technology, many of the Gelsenkirchen employees will be working under the "short time" program. This is a special program in Germany (valid until 2011) where the German government pays all employment costs while a plant is in transition. ARISE will have no incremental employment costs for those employees on "short time" in Gelsenkirchen now that the company has hired the entire workforce of 55 people at the plant.
ARISE also announced that Ian MacLellan, President of the Systems Division, has also been appointed the corporation's Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Ian retains his existing roles and as CTO will be the main spokesman for the company on matters relating to its technology. He is responsible for developing the Technology Centre for the company. The company also is planning to hire additional senior technology personnel as part of the ramp-up program as the additional funding, grants, and partners are put into place.
"We appreciate this interest and support from the North Rhine-Westphalia government. This is the next step in delivering on our high-efficiency PV cell program and is a very important part of our strategy to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace," said Vern Heinrichs, ARISE's President and Chief Executive Officer. "During the past year, as we navigated the challenges of the world economic issues, we have focused on developing a creative solution to implement our technology while conserving our cash resources. "
"Our expectation," Mr. Heinrichs continued, "is that this program and the agreements that we also today announced with Scheuten Solar will result in very little cash expenses for ARISE until the whole program is put together and launched in the coming months. We will be leasing the facility that will be our new Technology Centre and Scheuten has the option to sell us the building for (euro)3.24 million in three years. If Scheuten chooses not to exercise its option to sell the facility to us, we have the option to renew the lease at a lower rate for up to 27 years. We also are acquiring the assets in the plant for the consideration of (euro)1.7million to be paid as minor price reductions on PV cells sold to Scheuten, providing we purchase some OEM modules. We feel that this is a very good agreement for both ARISE and Scheuten."
"Part of the role of the Technology Centre," said Ian MacLellan, Chief Technology Officer and President of ARISE's Systems Division, "will be to ramp up to production volumes in Gelsenkirchen of our high-efficiency PV cell technology before we build production lines in Bischofswerda that produce cells using this technology. This approach is expected to minimize ramp-up expenses at our PV cell manufacturing plant and reduce our time to market."
About ARISE Technologies
ARISE Technologies Corporation, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is dedicated to becoming a leader in high-performance, cost-effective solar technology. The company operates through three divisions. The PV Cell Division manufactures PV (photovoltaic) cells at its first manufacturing plant opened in April 2008 in Bischofswerda, Germany. The division is developing proprietary technology with a target of achieving a step-by-step progression to a high-efficiency level of greater than 20%. The PV Silicon Division is using a proprietary method to produce silicon at 7N+ high-purity (99.99999% purity) for PV cell applications, based on a simplified chemical vapor deposition process. The division is focusing on scaling up its process to provide ARISE with control over its supply, costs, and quality. The PV Systems Division has been providing PV solutions for solar farms and rooftop installations since 1996 throughout North America. ARISE is planning to expand its systems business in Ontario under the Ontario FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) program. The company's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol APV and on the Frankfurt Open Market Exchange under the symbol A3T. Additional information is available at www.arisetech.com and www.sedar.com.
Forward-Looking Statements and Risk Factors
Certain statements in this news release may be considered to be forward-looking. Such statements are based on management's current expectations, estimations, and assumptions based on experience, trends, and other factors that are subject to the significant risks and uncertainties described in our regulatory filings. Please refer to these. Such risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic conditions, changing foreign exchange rates, actions by government authorities, the requirement for additional capital, risks associated with manufacturing, , industry supply levels, competitive pricing pressures and misjudgements in the course of preparing forward-looking statements.
Risk factors relating to ARISE are discussed in the Risk Factors section of ARISE's Annual Information Form and under the headings Liquidity and Capital Resources and Risk and Uncertainties in ARISE's year-end Management's Discussion and Analysis which are or will be available at www.sedar.com. These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on ARISE's forward-looking statements.
ARISE assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
SOURCE ARISE TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
For further information: For further information: ARISE Technologies Corporation, 65 Northland Road, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2V 1Y8, www.arisetech.com; For general inquires about ARISE please contact: Dave Chornaby, Chief Financial Officer, (519) 772-5732, Dave.Chornaby@arisetech.com; For inquires on our technology or Technology Centre please contact: Ian MacLellan, Chief Technology Officer and President Systems Division, (519) 772-5707, email@example.com