Sunday, January 6, 2008

Attention First Solar Investors (FSLR; VNP.TO)

Tellurium delirium getting you down, bunky?

One of FSLR's CdTe compounders, 5N Plus, will release financial results Tuesday, January 8 and will hold a conference call on Wednesday January 9:

MONTREAL, Jan. 3, 2008 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- (VNP)

5N Plus announced that it will report financial results for the second quarter on Tuesday, January 8th, 2008. 5N Plus will host a conference call at 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, January 9th. Interested parties may also access the conference call by webcast at

The telephone numbers to access the conference call are 800-733-7571, 416-644-3414 or 514-807-8791.

OPEN TO: Analysts, investors and all interested parties

DATE: January 9th, 2008

TIME: 10h00 Eastern Time

Interested parties will access the discussion by webcast at

5N Plus came public December 20, 2007 at $3.00. It closed at $8.17 on Friday, up $0.58 on the day.

From the offering document, available at sedar:

First Solar, our largest customer, is the leading producer of thin-film, CdTe-based PV modules. We have entered into longterm supply agreements with First Solar for CdTe, CdS and recycling services for both our Montreal facility (the “Montreal Supply Agreement”) and new German manufacturing facility (the “German Supply Agreement”), which represent a combined value of approximately $16 million to $21 million per year, depending on volume purchased, in accordance with minimum and maximum quantities prescribed in the supply agreements. The Montreal Supply Agreement has an initial term to September 2011. The German Supply Agreement has an initial term of three years from the date that commercial operation is achieved at our new German manufacturing facility, expected to occur by July 31, 2008.

The German Supply Agreement contains a purchase option or “call” clause giving First Solar the right to purchase, in certain circumstances, all of the equity interests in our German subsidiary for a price which corresponds approximately to the expected net cost of our investment in the new German manufacturing facility. We have no reason to believe that any of the events that would give rise to the exercise by First Solar of its purchase option will arise. See “Our Business – Customers –
Our Supply Agreements with First Solar”.
A number of companies are entering the CdTe-based PV modules production market, although still early in their development stages. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with one of these emerging suppliers of CdTe-based PV modules. We believe that our product offering is well suited to meet the requirements of all of these emerging producers of CdTe-based PV modules.

p. 19 Companies that have publicly announced that they are building, or considering building, manufacturing facilities to produce thin-film PV modules based on CdTe include: (i) First Solar, which operates two manufacturing plants (in Ohio and Germany) and has announced the construction of four new manufacturing plants in Malaysia; (ii) German-based Calyxo, a subsidiary of Q-Cells AG, which is expected to have a production capacity of 25 MW by the end of 2008 and 100 MW shortly thereafter, according to Photon International; and (iii) AVA Solar Inc., based in Fort Collins, Colorado, which recently announced that it will build a 200 MW plant by the end of 2008. Certain companies, such as U.S.-based Primestar Corporation and Solar Fields Corporation, and Italian-based Arendi Corporation, are also experimenting with CdTe-based thin-film PV. Others are focusing on CIS-based thin-film PV modules (such as U.S.-based Nanosolar Inc., Miasolé and Ascent Technologies; Japan-based Honda Motors; and Holland-based Shell Solar) or amorphous silicon-based PV modules (such as U.S.-based Unisolar and others). When compared to CdTe-based PV modules, CIS-based PV modules exhibit a somewhat higher conversion efficiency, which should translate into a lower cost per watt. CIS technology, however, is more difficult to control and scale-up, which explains in part why the commercial production of CIS-based PV modules is lagging behind that of CdTe-based PV modules.

p. 28 Competition
We have a limited number of competitors, none of which are integrated and therefore capable of providing the same range of services as we do. These include Vital Chemicals Co., Ltd. in China, Honeywell Electronic Materials in the United States, PPM Pure Metals GmbH in Germany and Nikko Materials Co., Ltd. in Japan. We expect the competitive landscape to change as our markets develop and attract more interest.

More specifically, we may face competition from our current customers, who choose to backward integrate in order to protect an essential component of their product line. The basis for competition in this instance will be security of supply, price, environment, health and safety, and recycling. We believe that we are well positioned to compete effectively on these issues.

We may also face competition from certain of our current suppliers, who are for the most part large non-ferrous mining, refining and metal processing companies. All of these are larger and have greater financial resources than we do. The basis for competition in this instance will be security of supply of feedstock, price and adaptation to change in the industry. We believe that our strong focus and greater flexibility will enable us to compete effectively.