BP today announced that it has agreed in principle to acquire Agere Systems’ semiconductor plant in Madrid as a base for a five-fold expansion of its solar photovoltaic cell manufacturing in Spain. This expansion builds on the company’s existing manufacturing and marketing operations in Madrid. The deal is expected to be complete within the next few months. The new facility will be one of the largest solar plants in the world, producing 60mw a year of high-efficiency crystalline silicon Saturn solar cells and having the potential to expand further. This product will be sold globally, but will especially help to meet the rapidly growing demand for solar power in Europe. The plant will begin production by the end of 2002 and will use state-of- the-art techniques to improve productivity, yield, cell efficiency and product performance. BP will invest over 100 million dollars in the project, which is situated to the north of Madrid, around 10 miles from BP Solar’s current Spanish manufacturing facility.