Meyer Burger to shutter Zülpich manufacturing facility amidst falling demand

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Image: Meyer Burger.

PV equipment supplier Meyer Burger will shutter its Hennecke-branded manufacturing facility in Zülpich, Germany, affecting some 60 employees.

The facility is used to manufacture the firm’s optical measuring and testing technologies, used in photovoltaic wafer and cell production, however these operations will be shifted entirely to Meyer Burger’s factory in Hohenstein-Ernstthal as a result of the move.

The company confirmed the decision in a statement this morning, adding that it will be offering “socially compatible solutions” to around 60 employees affected by the factory’s closure, some of whom have been “with the company for many years”.

Meyer Burger expects to incur restructuring costs of around CHF7 million (€6.4 million), CHF3 million (€2.7 million) of which is expected to affect 2020 cashflow.

Hans Brändle, CEO at Meyer Burger, said while the company was proud of its wafer inspection products, volumes and margins had “fallen sharply” in recent months, prompting the decision to close the site.

“Meyer Burger had to take this decisive step as part of the planned adjustment of the business model and as a result of the unattractive margins in the PV standard business, especially in the Chinese market, and after examining various strategic options.

“Further consolidating our production capacities in Hohenstein-Ernstthal allows us to continue to increase efficiency and strengthen our competitiveness,” he said.

Just last month Meyer Burger confirmed that first payments from a major heterojunction order stemming from an unnamed North American start-up were to be delayed.

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