1366 Technologies Seeking Equity for New Wafer Factory, CEO Says

(Bloomberg) — 1366 Technologies Inc., which just agreed to
co-develop solar components with Hanwha Q Cells Co., will seek
to raise equity to complete the financing of a silicon wafer
factory it plans to begin building this year.

1366 has about 70 percent of what it needs for the $100
million plant, Chief Executive Officer Frank van Mierlo said
Thursday in a telephone interview. Van Mierlo didn’t identify
potential investors.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to break ground this
year,” van Mierlo said. “Most of the financing is secured.
We’ve been very methodically trying to get to the point where we
can build a commercial factory.”

The company, which has a pilot plant in Bedford,
Massachusetts, uses a manufacturing technique that produces
wafers in a single step, reducing waste and improving
efficiency. That allows 1366 to use more than 90 percent of the
silicon it produces, compared with peers that use 40 to 50
percent to grow crystal ingots that are sliced into wafers.

1366 can sell its wafers for at least 10 percent less than
competitors, van Mierlo said. The wafers are put into
cells, which are used in solar panels.

“If you have the ambition to become a large wafer
supplier, partnering with the largest buyer is almost a dream
come true,” van Mierlo said. “We don’t have to worry about the
cell process and the module making.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Justin Doom in New York at
jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Jim Efstathiou Jr., Carlos Caminada

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