Steel and mining firm ArcelorMittal has acquired bankrupt France-based solar trackers manufacturer Exosun for an undisclosed price to expand its solar portfolio.

The transaction was cleared by the Commercial Court of Bordeaux where Exosun had filed for insolvency in July 2017.

Exosun, which is headquartered in Martillac, manufactures steel solar trackers that help photovoltaic panels to follow the path of the sun, thereby boosting the efficiency of ground-mounted solar farms.

Founded in 2007, Exosun has 43 employees who have delivered over 55 solar farms across the world with a total installed capacity of 700MW.

Exosun founder and chairman Frédéric Conchy said: “ArcelorMittal is the ideal partner to capture market share in a sector experiencing strong growth and consolidation: being backed by a strong industrial player is vital to becoming a leading global player.”

Through its steel solar frames and its corrosion and abrasion-resistant Magnelis steel, ArcelorMittal has been operating in the solar energy market.

The Luxembourg-based steel production company stated that Exosun will benefit from commercial, industrial and research and development (R&D) synergies. The solar tracker provider is also expected to leverage ArcelorMittal’s financial strength which will help it cater to its customers in important solar projects.

The assets of Exosun will now come under the ArcelorMittal Projects division, which is engaged in large projects across the energy and civil construction sectors.

ArcelorMittal Projects CEO Johannes De Schrivjer said: “With the acquisition of Exosun's assets, ArcelorMittal's solar energy offering is taking on a new dimension.

“We will provide our customers with the industrial expertise and guarantees they expect to carry out their projects and contribute even more to the energy transition.”

According to ArcelorMittal, the global photovoltaic energy market is anticipated to see a growth of 15GW of installed capacity a year from 2017 to 2020. In 2016, the installed capacity was 75GW in 2016, of which, half of them are in large-scale solar farms, the company said.

ArcelorMittal added that the use of solar trackers in large solar farms which is currently at 25% could go up to 50% by 2020.

Image: Exosun specializes in providing solar trackers for solar farms. Photo: courtesy of ArcelorMittal.