SolarWorld has confirmed it will lay off 100 people from its plant in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The changes follow a major restructuring of its parent company in Germany and the continued dumping of cheap Chinese products in the US, despite levies introduced last year by the US government to block them.

It is widely reported that the company will now refocus the installation on cell production and module assembly only. Ingot and wafer manufacturing will cease at the site.

The company confirmed to PV-Tech that 20 employees will be moved to other roles in addition to the 100 job losses. Around 650 will continue work at the site once the changes come into affect in August.

“As a company, we will still do all four [of the solar panel production] steps. In Hillsboro, we will do the last two steps,” Ben Santarris, spokesperson SolarWorld told local radio station OPB.

“The cell production is the biggest step in terms of investment and in terms of employment. And that, and the next step – solar panel assembly – will continue in Hillsboro,” he added.

Commenting on the effect of Chinese products Santarris said the tariffs, in place since October 2012, had cut the number of Chinese imports but not entirely and so prices had continued to fall.

Its German parent company is undergoing a major restructuring. Qatari government Qatar Solar has invested US$45 million (€35 million) in return for a 29% stake while CEO Frank Asbeck invested US$12.8 million (€10 million) of his own money.

Comments