Updated. Bosch has said that its PV module assembly plant in Vénissieux, France is near being sold as talks with an unidentified potential investor were described as having reached “an advanced stage”.
Bosch is in the final phases of exiting the solar industry after massive losses of €1.3 billion alone in 2013 were attributed to its solar operations. The company also noted that the sale of its Solar Energy’s cell and module production in Arnstadt to SolarWorld has officially been completed and gained all regulatory approvals.
Bosch noted that 1,000 jobs had been secured from the manufacturing complex with 800 positions transferred to SolarWorld. The company noted that the Arnstadt complex had employed 1,400 people.
“We have achieved our goal of selling parts of the operation and relocating an alternative Bosch business, and in this way of offering jobs to as many associates as possible,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of Robert Bosch GmbH. “In this way, we can offer a perspective for the large majority of associates instead of closing the site. We have invested a lot of time and considerable sums of money in making this possible.”
Bosch took the unusual step of providing SolarWorld with a €130 million payment to acquire the majority of its PV operations.
The company also said the negotiations concerning the sale of its French assembly plant were along the same solution as the Arnstadt agreement with SolarWorld.
According to SolarWorld, the Bosch acquisition makes the company the largest (700MW) solar cell producer in Europe.
The company noted that its PERC cell technology would be migrated to the Arnstadt facility, without giving any timeframes.
SolarWorld also noted that it would start production new high-efficiency PV modules in the 300W plus range, increasing power generation by around 20% from existing production modules, though the company did not say when this would occur.