Thalheim/Wolfen, 27 October 2006 - Q-Cells AG announces a change in personnel concerning the management of its Technology department. Reiner Lemoine, CTO of Q-Cells AG, is resigning his position for health reasons. Mr. Lemoine has not been able to fulfill his duties as CTO for several months now owing to a serious illness. Q-Cells AG is continuing with the projects established by Mr. Lemoine, and is substantially expanding the Research and Development department under the direction of the Managing Director Technology, Dr. Florian Holzapfel, who holds a degree in industrial engineering. Dr. Holzapfel has been in charge of the R&D department on a provisional basis for the past few months. The Executive Board, the Supervisory Board, and the employees of QCells AG are all very sorry to see Mr. Lemoine go. He is one of the founders of the Company, and in founding and helping to develop Q-Cells, he made good progress toward implementing his vision of making it possible for people to have an environmentally-friendly, sustainable supply of energy.
Building on Reiner Lemoine´s work, the world's largest independent manufacturer of solar cells is speeding up the expansion of the Research and Development department according to its goals. Q-Cells AG invests €20 million in a new test production line. This line will be built directly alongside the new fifth production line in Thalheim, and will be available to Q-Cells researchers starting in 2007 for promoting the development of new cell generations. Together with scientists from leading research institutes in the field of photovoltaics, scientists and engineers from Q-Cells AG are researching how developing new cell concepts can significantly increase the effectiveness of multicrystalline and monocrystalline solar cells up to more than 18% and 20%, respectively. The new research and development line will be used primarily for the benefit of these research projects and for preparing these new cell generations´ market entry.
In addition, Q-Cells is continuing to invest in expanding personnel in its Technology division. By the end of 2006, the number of R&D employees will be increased from the approximately 50 at the start of the year to more than 100. Along with the projects mentioned, Q-Cells´ Technology department is working on developing thinner solar cells to reduce material quantities as well as improving processes in order to further increase cell efficiency. The Technology division – along with our subsidiaries and projects in the field of new technologies, that will start with the production of solar modules based on new thin film technologies in 2007 - thus plays a central role in continuing to rapidly lower production costs with the aim of making photovoltaic technology competitive