Silex looks for buyers for solar technologies | RenewEconomy

Silex looks for buyers for solar technologies

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Silex looks for buyers and co-investors for Solar Systems CPV business as it focuses on laser uranium enrichment technology.

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Australian listed company Silex Systems says it is looking for a buyer or co-investor of its solar technologis – including its concentrated solar power systems – so that it can focus on its uranium enrichment processes

Silex announced on Monday that it was pursuing several leads for the sale or partial sale of its Transluscent business, which makes novel semiconductor materials based on the ‘rare earth oxide’ family for use in the solar industry and the semiconductor industry.

It has also begun a process for a “strategic partnership” or “equity transaction” for its Solar Systems business, which is building a demonstration plant of its CPV technology in Mildura, Victoria, and has plans for a 100MW installation. It is also building a 1MW demonstration plant in Saudi Arabia.

silex blueSilex bought that technology after its previous owners went broke in 2011. It has access to state and federal funding of $150 million for the project.

However, Silex says it does not want to invest any more funds in the project and wants to eliminate the need for further parent company investment.

Silex recently blamed uncertainty about government funding for the Mildura project – which is being delivered through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – for a sharp fall in its share price. The stock is still languishing around $1.10 – just one third of its levels a year ago.

Silex CEO, Dr Michael Goldsworthy said the move was part of a restructure to conserve funds for its laser uranium enrichment business.: “With current cash reserves of approximately $64 million, zero bank debt and a plan to substantially reduce cash burn and overheads, we will remain in a strong financial position over the coming years which we believe will see us through to revenue generation, Silex CEO Dr Michael Goldsworthy said in a statement.

“The cuts in cash burn are across the board in all areas of the business,” he added.

Silex wants to focus on its laser uranium enrichment process, and hopes that its deal with GE and others could mean that the world’s first commercial laser enrichment plant could be in operation later this decade.

“We firmly believe that a more concentrated focus on the commercialization of the SILEX Technology is the best path forward for Silex and our shareholders,” Goldsworthy said.

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