Solar thermal factory in Italy: Flat-plate collectors for the MTS Group’s business are produced at this new site in central Italy.
Photo: MTS Group
Merloni Termo Sanitari (MTS), one of the leading international suppliers of heating and water heating systems, has increased its solar thermal production capacity by setting up a research and development centre and a new production site for solar thermal energy in the Marche region in central Italy. According to MTS the company has invested over € 5 million in three years for the development of this production site: once fully operational, the factory will employ over 60 people, split between manufacturing and R&D activities in the technical centre. The new site is the reference point in the solar thermal sector for Europe, where the group is present with its brands Ariston, Chaffoteaux & Maury and Elco.
The MTS Group is concentrating several operations linked to solar thermal energy in this factory: flat solar panels and systems of different types will be developed and manufactured so that, so that, in the space of three years by its own account, the group will reach an annual production capacity of 300,000 m2. The new competence centre in Italy also ought to coordinate research and manufacturing activities in China and India.
The group sells solar thermal solutions worldwide. In China for example it installed an Elco solar tube system in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Village. The system provided hot water for the 18,000 athletes attending the Olympic Games and will be subsequently used for everyone living in the complex after it has been transformed into a residential centre. In April 2007 MTS opened a new factory in Wuxi, where it manufactures electric and gas heaters as well as solar systems and boilers.
In India MTS is embarking on major expansion with plans to venture into the solar water heater segment of the commercial sector. The company's Indian subsidiary, Merloni Termo Sanitari India, has earmarked an investment of nearly € 160,000 over the next two years for technology upgrade. According to the journal Hindu Business Line the Indian subsidiary has already started turn-key projects for solar water heaters in the commercial sector.
The MTS Group, with a global turnover of over € 1.2 billion in 2007, employs 7,200 people worldwide and manufactures 7.1 million products annually at 24 factories in 10 countries.
This text was written by Joachim Berner, a German journalist and solar thermal expert.