Last November, First Solar celebrated the production of its one millionth module at its Frankfurt (Oder) plant. This year, the company has announced plans to reduce production as declining subsidies reduce European demand.
In a climate of job losses, First Solar has applied for government assistant to place its 1,200 employees on a part-time contract. The thin-film manufacturer intends to cut output in half for six months, commencing in March, whilst waiting for approval of a government grant.
“This was part of our 2012 guidance to scale back to 80 percent of our global production capacity,” spokesman Alan Bernheimer told Bloomberg.