PV manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS, said it would close down all solar cell and module manufacturing capacity in Germany and relocate the lines to its main production facility in Cyberjaya, Malaysia with the loss of 550 jobs. 

Hanwha Q CELLS has a solar cell nameplate capacity of 230MW and 130MW nameplate capacity for PV modules at its headquarters in Thalheim, Germany. The plants were regarded as its leading-edge lines that were the first to integrate new developments from its R&D centre also located in Thalheim. 

R&D activities were said to remain in Thalheim.

The company said that had made the decision independently of the planned merger with sister company, Hanwha SolarOne and was driven purely by cost competitive issues within the PV industry. 

Kasey Son, CFO at Hanwha Q CELLS, said: "Against the background of the keen cost competition in global solar industry, the management of Hanwha Q CELLS has decided to transfer the German cell and module production facilities to more cost competitive sites including our Malaysian factory. This hasn´t been an easy decision considering the impact on our employees in Germany, but it is necessary in order to ensure the overall competitiveness of Hanwha Q CELLS. I´d like to emphasize, that this decision has been made independently from the recently announced merger of Hanwha Q CELLS with Hanwha SolarOne."

All production is expected to halt on March 1, 2015.The company noted that 350 jobs would be maintained at Hanwha Q CELLS in Germany. 

Justin Lee, Hanwha Q CELLS' CCO added, "The current program won´t have any impact on our customers, who can fully and continuously rely on the outstanding performance of Q CELLS products - "Engineered in Germany". Our customers will benefit from this step to further increase the overall competitiveness of Hanwha Q CELLS and our ability to serve the international markets with high quality PV products and solutions for optimized LCOE."