Shell to acquire partners' stakes in solar energy joint venture

LONDON and NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2002 -- Shell Renewables, Siemens AG and E.ON Energie AG announced today that Shell intends to acquire all the shares held by Siemens and E.ON in their solar photovoltaic (PV) joint venture company, Siemens und Shell Solar GmbH.

The combined business, to be 100% owned by Shell, will be known as Shell Solar with full corporate integration taking place over the next six months. The deal is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

Shell's Philippe de Renzy-Martin, who will be Executive Vice President of the new company, said: "This is good news for our customers, our staff and partners, and for the whole solar industry. Our integrated company will have the people, the reach and the resources to build a sustainable, commercially successful solar PV business around the world."

The integration of the Shell and Siemens solar PV businesses brings together world-class operations in both research & development and manufacturing and will employ around 1100 people. "Solar PV is one of the fastest-growing of all the technologies in a rapidly developing part of the global energy market," said de Renzy-Martin.

"Shell has a strategic commitment to making renewable energy a commercial reality, and this move is a key step in building a strong, global solar business."

At present, shareholdings in the joint venture are: Siemens AG 34%, E.ON Energie AG 33% and Shell 33%. The new entity will have a 15% share of the global PV market. The deal reaffirms the Royal Dutch/Shell Group's commitment to new energies -- solar, wind, hydrogen and geothermal.

The Group announced last year that it would invest US$0.5 billion to US$1 billion over the next five years, subject to ongoing economic review, to continue developing these businesses, concentrating primarily on solar and wind energy.

About Shell Solar
Shell Solar Shell Solar is headquartered in Amsterdam and produces solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and panels at its factory in Helmond, the Netherlands, and solar cells at its factory in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

A second cell production line is being planned at Gelsenkirchen. Shell Solar products are marketed in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia. The company employs around 500 people worldwide.

Shell Solar focuses on developing solar PV energy solutions for two distinct market segments:
* Grid Connected Solar Systems - starting from 400 watt systems to one megawatt and above, depending on individual projects. This activity covers installation, maintenance and financing in areas where an electricity network is present.
* Rural Electrification - bringing renewable energy to end-users in remote or non-grid supplied communities. This includes, training, maintenance and all other after sales activities.

After the integration of the Siemens business Shell Solar will consist of:
* Manufacturing facilities in the US (Camarillo), The Netherlands and Germany with a total yearly capacity of some 60 megawatt of solar panels.
* A global network consisting of professional distributors and sales partners, with sales offices in the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Philippines
* Access to both mono and multi crystalline cell technologies (the current main stream solar cell technologies) and to thin film technology (the technology of the future, for which Shell Solar will have an operational production line in Camarillo, California).

Siemens und Shell Solar GmbH
In April 2001 a joint venture company was formed, merging all of Siemens Solar with Shell's solar business in Germany to create Siemens und Shell Solar GmbH. The shareholdings established were 33% Shell, 33% E.On and 34% Siemens.

At that time it was also announced that Shell would contribute all of its remaining solar business before the end of 2002 and that Shell would have the option to become the largest shareholder. Siemens Solar Siemens Solar was created in 1989 as a joint venture between Siemens AG and E.ON Energie AG.

It became one of the world's largest producers of solar PV cells and modules, employing around 600 people, with facilities in the US, Germany, Portugal, India, Singapore and Japan, and selling its products in over 90 countries. By the time that the joint venture with Shell was created in April 2001, the company had supplied solar cells and modules with a peak power of almost 250 megawatt.

This represents around one fifth of total solar power installed worldwide. Well-established in the manufacturing of two types of solar cells and modules, single-crystal silicon and copper indium diselinide (CIS), in 1998 Siemens Solar was the first company in the world to start series production of CIS solar modules.

These thin-film modules boast an efficiency of over 11%, which is clearly higher than with competing thin-film technologies.
More information can be found at http://www.shell.com.


Sponsored by FLSmidth

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