French government to rescue struggling Photowatt

The French government is set to offer Photowatt France an 11th-hour reprieve by investing in the ailing panel manufacturer.

Two months ago Photowatt, a subsidiary of Canada’s ATS Automation Tooling Systems, was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy after falling demand and increased competition led to escalating losses. However, in an RMC Radio interview on Tuesday, Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said the government was ready to step in and rescue the country’s leading PV manufacturer.

Kosciusko-Morizet said that Photowatt was being hurt by lower-priced competitors and that the government “would like to invest” in the company. No further details on the level or type of investment were provided in the interview, although a Photowatt spokesperson told PV-Tech that there would be a tender for new ownership in January. The deadline for this tender is January 17, with Photowatt expected to be under new ownership in early spring.

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