German PV project developer Solarstrom has filed for insolvency at the District Court of Freiburg.
The news follows the delay and subsequent cancellation of a triple-digit MW pipeline of projects in the UK. The company blamed onerous requirements for an upfront cash deposit to guarantee the projects that forced it to walk away from negotiations with the unnamed “international energy company” involved.
“The fact that we will not implement this project pipeline has only affected the insolvency to the extent that the negative operating result now expected has made the refinancing talks more difficult,” said Dr Karl Kuhlmann, CEO, SAG Solarstrom.
The company has pointed at a €20 million (US$27.5 million) cash shortfall from project finance in Germany and Italy, as well as a loan repayment due from an Italian developer as the root cause of the insolvency.
“Within less than four weeks, we were confronted with a situation which was completely unforeseeable for us,” said Kuhlmann.
“We had firmly scheduled cash inflows from the closing of the sale of German photovoltaic projects, from the closing of an Italian project with seven PV systems and from a loan that we had granted to an Italian project company, for November and December. They were delayed for completely different reasons. Altogether, a sum of over €20 million is lacking. It has not been possible for us to cover this significant liquidity shortfall, despite all our efforts.”
Despite the problem Kuhlmann remained confident that the company could continue operating after the reorganisation was complete.
“I am convinced that SAG Solarstrom AG has a very realistic chance of continuing the company through restructuring, due to its profitable units and enormous expertise,” he added.
Solarstrom said it would not be able to make a bond interest payment due on 16 December.
Dr Karl Kuhlmann, CEO, SAG Solarstrom talks to PV Tech at Intersolar Europe 2013