Soon after REC split its polysilicon and PV module manufacturing operations into separate companies, REC Silicon is to reduce its workforce by approximately 60 across all locations, with immediate effect.
The company said that the headcount reduction would not affect polysilicon and silane production was due to the ‘continued weakness in the solar grade and electronic grade polysilicon markets, as well as continued uncertainty from the prolonged solar trade war between the US and China.’
Tore Torvund, President REC Silicon ASA said, “We did not take this decision lightly. It is unfortunate that this decision is necessary in order to remain competitive during continued periods of uncertainty. We do believe that after taking these difficult measures, the organization will be well positioned for continued and successful operations.”
Polysilicon ASPs have remained at low levels throughout 2013, after falling massively (50% per annum) over the previous two-years, due to overcapacity and weaker end market growth.
US-based polysilicon producers are also being impacted by anti-dumping duties imposed on them by the Chinese government as part of an effort to support domestic polysilicon producers, decimated by prices falling below production costs and many shuttering operations.
It remains unclear what the level of impact on shipments and sales of polysilicon to China has been on US producers.