(EnergyAsia, November 9 2011, Wednesday) — German precious metals and technology group Heraeus has launched a full-service photovoltaic (PV) silver paste production facility in Singapore and its first in the Asia Pacific region.

As the company’s third regional research centre after US and Germany, the facility will provide specialist services driven by its photovoltaic business unit including research and development, sales and technical services to support the region’s fast-growing demand for solar cell products.

Located in Tuas in the western end of Singapore, the Heraeus Asia Center will initially produce up to 240 tonnes of PV silver paste a year, rising to 1,400 tonnes per year or 20 Gigawatts (GW) of solar cell power by 2014.

The company said the Singapore plant will add to its three other regional production plants in China, Germany and US.

Heraeus said the Singapore R&D department would add to the continued work of the global team and enable the group to maintain its track record of releasing at least three to four new products a year in the areas of multiple cell technology.

Roland Gerner, managing director of Heraeus Precious Metals, said:

“This new site continues Heraeus Precious Metal’s strategy to place full-service sites in the most important geographic regions. Asia is the largest market for our PV silver paste product line and Singapore gives us access to top research and development talent and a very good environment to grow.”

Heraeus generated more than 4.1 billion euros in product revenue and 17.9 billion in precious metals trading revenue last year. Headquarted in Hanau, Germany, the company has more than 12,900 employees in over 120 subsidiaries worldwide. (US$1=0.72 euro).