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AN INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC SUPPLY CHAIN IN SILFAB’S “GREEN” PROJECTS
Renewable energies offer the best possible future for our planet and investing in them is also a choice that pays on the industrial level. Franco Traverso know this well. He is the CEO of Silfab, the Italian multinational that has the unique and ambitious goal of creating an integrated photovoltaic supply chain.
Traverso has been in the photovoltaic sector for 30 years, as a pioneer, and has own his very personal “recipe” for good business progress. It is an integrated approach, certainly, but also one that involves customised plans for each country, based on local needs and an ethical code that cannot be ignored.
Mr. Traverso, what are the added values of a company like yours?
Our added value is having skills and expertise from upstream to downstream in the photovoltaic sector. We have well-distributed skills and expertise in our internal supply chain, which above all allows us always to have available raw materials, which are unstable in sectors such as ours. Then there is the unique possibility that we offer customers of having specially customised “national offers” based on the needs of their territory. Last, but not least, are the ethical values in which we believe so much that we have provided ourselves with an internal ethical code.
In which external markets do you already have established positions?
The Canadian market interests us in particular and we are expecting our positive adventure in Ontario to have a good effect on business. We have built a new photovoltaic module manufacturing plant there that will have an output of 120 megawatts when running at full capacity. Then there is the North American market, where awareness of the importance of developing renewable energies has grown even more since the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and where we have established a joint-venture with the American REgeneration Finance LLC in New York.
In which areas of the world do you plan to expand in the future?
Certainly in Latin America, the Balkans and North Africa. We see the establishment of green energy as something positive in these parts of the world because new jobs would be created as a direct consequence. We are working on the creation of large solar farms in the areas of the Balkans and South Africa, among others.
Mr. Traverso, your company is an “intelligent” multi-national in Italy: can I ask you to what extent you believe in outsourcing?
22 people are employed in Silfab’s Italian headquarters and outsourcing is an unavoidable necessity. But I do not despair of the future possibility of creating a completely Italian photovoltaic supply chain. In Ontario, for example, to have access to the energy account and become a developer, you must provide assurance of using panels that are made in Ontario, whereas we do not yet have this approach in Italy.
I will go even further: my future goal is to create a cluster in Italy, i.e. a supply chain with related subsidiary industries, to encourage the development of new industrial realities.