Norwegian REC Claim Ground-Breaking Technology

The Norwegian producer of sun panels, REC, have Tuesday released a statement in where the company claims the FBR system as a ground-breaking technology foundation for low-cost polysilicon production. The polysilicon, being produced by REC Silicon in Moses Lake, Washington, is mostly used in solar panels, but also increasingly used in computer screens and flat screen TV‘s

“The Sun Always Shines On TV”


The pressure on REC’s management, that forced CEO  Erik Thorsen to step down last year, is still  tremendous. The volatile markets, delayed project, swelling borrowing costs, terrible financial reports….no wonder the company’s  share has is the day traders at Oslo Stock Exchange number one favorite. Is this make or break for the Norwegian top global solar player?

The market for alternative energy can in many ways be compared to the Silicon Vally race in the late 80’s, and early 90’s, to come up with a small  low-cost micro chip that actually worked, and with the capacity to run a personal home computer.

There was hundreds of thousand companies, billions of invested dollar and millions of great ideas.

Those were the days, my friend!

But everybody knew there could only be one winner.

(And we know now who that eventually became).

It’s the same with solar panels; the first to come up with a panel that is small enough, efficient enough and cheap enough has struck a gigantic gold mine.

The Norwegian company REC has run among the leaders for several years, and is at the moment a leading player in the solar energy industry. REC is among the world’s largest producers of polysilicon and wafers for solar applications, and a rapidly growing manufacturer of solar cells and modules.

REC is also engaged in project development activities in selected PV segments.

But lately it looks like REC is about to fall behind.

That is; if is we look at the company’s market value at the stock exchange.

A lot off up’s, but mostly down.

Besides being a popular day trading stock, witch adds to the volatility, analysts are beginning to loose faith in both REC’s leadership, and in REC’s ability to become a future winner in the solar energy market.

Top Global Player

Today’s announcement from the company is  an important one.

Founded in Norway, REC became an international solar company under the former CEO Erik Thorsen who was forced to go in March 2009.

REC is employing more than 3,000 people worldwide.

REC had revenues in excess of NOK 9 billion in 2009, but the management published an overall negative Q4 report and guided down their expectations for 2010.

The analysts y/y estimates for 2010 was before today’s announcement on average down by 87,5%, to NOK 134 million.

REC is hardly capable of handling more failure.

But today’s presentation may have the potential to be a game changer.

The New LCD Screen?

“REC – REC Silicon confirms FBR as a ground-breaking technology foundation for low-cost polysilicon production,” the company says in a market statement Tuesday afternoon.

At REC Silicon in Washington, USA, they have discovered that by using a certain technology, FBR, the silicon derivative – polysilicon – they get a more fine grade liquid crystal that can produce better screen images than the crystals that’s in most of today’s computer screens and flat screen TV’s.

And at a lower cost.

This is what it looks like:

Left: Siemens product. Right: REC product

REC Silicon today hosts an investor field-trip to its facilities in Moses Lake, Washington, including executive presentations followed by a tour of the new Fluidized Bed Reactor (FBR) plant.

There will be a live webcast from Moses Lake at 9.30 am local Pacific time,

(The presentation material as well as the link to the web cast will be available from:

REC Silicon executives will present an overview of the REC Silicon products, an update on technology developments, and provide the company`s perspective on market developments.

Which – by the way – are quite confident:

Left: prod. forecast, silane. Right: prod. forecast, polysilicon

Or Just Another Tech Bubble?

Well, that’s the bottom line when it comes to REC.

The company has benefited from the Norwegian, and other, governments expanding research and increasing subsidizing of alternative energy development.

Consequently; this isn’t only about the company brand and the investors money – it’s also about scientific prestige and (of course) politics.

And the current CEO Ola Enger, who witness President Barack Obama receive the Nobel Peace Price in Oslo in November, are fully aware of the possibilities in relation to the U.S. economic stimulus programs.

At Least; A Day Of Fun

If the Norwegian solar player finally will come out on top, or not, is yet to be determined.

But Wednesday should be a really fun day for the day traders and other speculators!

This can go either way, and the move can  be big.

REC released this information just as the Oslo Stock Exchange was about to close, Tuesday.

However, the stock managed to mark down a jump of more than 8%.

Follow the stock here.

Check out the option action for tomorrow here.

Here’s some of the market presentation material.

You have under 12 hours to place your bet before Oslo Stock Exchange open tomorrow morning at nine, local time.

Good Luck!

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