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Catania wants to become a leader in photovoltaic production

Catania wants to become a leader in photovoltaic production

A project previews huge expansion of current production capacity

The 3 Sun module area, located in the Etna industrial zone, near the Sicilian city of Catania, already produces the latest-generation bifacial photovoltaic (PV) panels. On 19 February, however, there was a meeting between the Mayor of the city, Salvo Pogliese and representatives from Enel energy company operating the plant which served as the forum for presenting a project of expansion.

Enel proposed this and it would mean increasing the current production of PV panels to 3GW of generating capacity/ per year, which in turn would create an additional 800-1000 direct jobs in the municipality and position Catania and Sicily as global leaders in this sustainable industry in the face of stiff competition from China.

The proposed project is called a Gigafactory

The benefits of building the so-called Gigafactory would be clear for the local economy, which would be aligned to the environmentally sustainable development goals that are increasingly prominent and being adopted by European municipalities.

Mayor Pogliese struck a confident and optimistic tone regarding the initiative and promised to speed up the process from his end in order to bring this important investment to his municipality.

“Catania is increasingly confirmed as an attractive city for investments, especially in the hi-tech sector, with employment effects of 800-1000 people directly and as many in the related industries. As Municipal Administration we will do our part quickly, simplifying the bureaucratic and administrative procedures as much as possible, as we have shown that we can do on other important occasions for development in order to carry on this project which I hope, indeed I am convinced, will soon become a reality,” explained the mayor, as quoted on the municipal website.

The Gigafactory, if and when constructed over 42 000 square metres, would bring numerous benefits not only to the residents but also to other stakeholders in the national economy, such as Italian machine and materials manufacturers and suppliers and the Catania port, which would experience a higher volume of shipments.

The estimated cost of this grand undertaking would come up to 500 million euros, which Enel representatives said could be at least partially generated through European and international grant and funding mechanisms with the collaboration of public authorities.

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