Australian Solar Panel Joint Venture Starts to Take Shape

Australian solar panel joint venture Natcore Australia

Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2013Natcore Technology Inc.  and the Australian group Denzo Pty Limited have begun planning for Natcore Australia, a joint venture that would produce solar cells and solar panels in Australia, with Australia as the headquarters for this activity.

The joint venture would move initially with currently available technologies. Future technologies would be deployed as they become available. Natcore Australia would have exclusive access to Natcore’s intellectual property portfolio in Australia. Financing for the venture would come from government and private sources.

The parties have begun to explore land, facility and labor costs; domestic and export sales potential; and availability of government assistance at local, state and federal levels.

Denzo has narrowed the future site for the facility to one of two locations: the city of Orange, NSW, which is about 250 km west ofSydney; and Wellcamp West Brisbane Airport in Toowoomba, Queensland, which is 127 km west of Brisbane. Wellcamp West Brisbane Airport is the first privately built major public airport in Australia. The company that is building the airport is also building a large business park.

Natcore has submitted factory layouts for a 30 MW/year – 100 MW/year solar cell production facility and is preparing equipment recommendations on a “best of breed” basis, i.e., they are putting forward items that would be selected from manufacturers inGermanyChina and elsewhere around the world. Each piece of equipment would be the best in its category according to criteria agreed upon with Denzo (e.g., most efficient, cleanest operating, lowest cost). Natcore would not receive a commission or mark-up on the equipment.

“We would have no biases or no conflicts of interest in making appropriate decisions,” says Natcore President and CEO Chuck Provini.

“We sought out Natcore after careful due diligence on solar technologies throughout the world,” says Ken Mathews, Managing Director of Denzo. “We’ve already attracted potential industry partners, and Denzo is confident of success using the Natcore technology.”

“In addition to being a free-standing company in which Natcore will be a partner, the joint venture will also be our customer,” says Provini. “Natcore Australia will be a licensee of Natcore Technology. They’ll pay royalties for our technology, and they’ll buy our chemicals.”

Denzo was started in Australia in 1965 as a private company with auto service stations and retail tire outlets. In 1982, the company was converted to Denzo Pty Limited, as Trustee for the Mathews No. 1 Family Trust. The company is headquartered in Terrigal, NSW.

Denzo Pty Limited has operated in AustraliaSingaporeThailandIndonesiaChinaSouth Korea and the United States. The company has been involved in alternative fuels (LNG, solar), import (cars, yachts) and export, manufacturing (gas meters, automotive plastics), and retail sales.

Denzo has recently signed a Terms Sheet to take over a listed public company on the Australian Stock Market, as an option.

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