Solar glass manufacturer Canadian Premium Sand (CPS) has completed the latest phase of its preparations to build a glass manufacturing facility.

Alongside German glass engineering firm it has completed a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study as well as received a market report confirming the economic viability of manufacturing patterned solar glass at a site in Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada.

The FEED study focused on the design, capital needs and operating costs of the facility and a sand extraction facility at the company’s Wanipigow Sand Quarry, approximately 150km to the north.

In addition to preliminary engineering design, the FEED study also included plant and equipment selection, production output flow with various product specifications as well as logistics considerations for raw materials and finished products.

Taking the FEED study and market report into consideration, the company is advancing plans to develop its integrated solar glass manufacturing project in multiple largescale phases. Highlights of the first phase of the project include:

  • 550 to 600 tonnes per day patterned solar glass manufacturing and coating facility;
    • Multiple production lines that accommodate tempered glass specifications ranging in thickness between 4.0mm and 1.8mm and the application of anti-reflective and anti-soiling coatings.
    • Capable of supplying up to 4 GW of annual solar panel manufacturing.

  • $400 to $500 million Class 4 capital cost estimate, which provides an 80% certainty level and includes costs for both solar glass manufacturing and sand extraction facilities
    • Includes capital for land and certain common operating infrastructure that will enable CPS to add future production capacity to accommodate the anticipated growth in solar glass demand.

  • Approximately $200 million of annual EBITDA based on full production capacity and current solar glass prices of approximately US$12/sq. m.
    • CPS expects to be the lowest cost provider of patterned solar glass to the North American market due to the use of low-cost renewable hydroelectric energy, proximity to customers and the integration of its wholly owned silica sand supply.

CPS said it has the potential to construct up to three additional equally sized manufacturing facilities at the same site.

Construction of the initial manufacturing facility and the associated silica sand extraction operation is estimated to take two years to complete

The market report specifically analyzed the North American market for patterned solar glass, and was completed by Clean Energy Associates, a global consulting firm specializing in the solar industry.

The market report conducted by Clean Energy Associates confirmed that patterned solar glass panels are the most efficient products on the market and can be expected to dominate industry demand for the next 20 years.

The findings also included a positive outlook for the long-term price of patterned solar glass in North America.

“These studies support our decision to build North America’s only patterned solar glass manufacturing facility,” said company President, Glenn Leroux.

“The business strategy of integrating our high-quality solar spec sand, Manitoba’s inexpensive renewable hydroelectricity, and proximity to our North American customer base through the Winnipeg logistics hub, is a highly attractive business plan that others cannot easily replicate.”