SolarWorld heads back into insolvency

SolarWorld was reported to have cited the expected expiry of EU tariffs on Chinese produced PV modules and the end to the MIP (Minimum Import Price) agreement this year as well as the general trend of continuous lowering of module average selling price (ASP) as reasons behind the start of insolvency proceedings. Image: SolarWorld

Updated and amended: German-based monocrystalline PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) PV module manufacturer SolarWorld Industries has filed for bankruptcy a second time in less than a year when the 'SolarWorld' name in Germany has been used. 

The district court in Bonn has appointed Christoph Niering as the provisional insolvency administrator for the company. 

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SolarWorld Industries was reported to have cited the expected expiry of EU tariffs on Chinese produced PV modules and the end to the MIP (Minimum Import Price) agreement this year as well as the general trend of continuous lowering of module average selling price (ASP) as reasons behind the start of insolvency proceedings. 

However, the insolvency also comes quickly after the US set new import duties of 30% on PV modules coming from Europe as well as the majority of countries producing PV modules around the world. 

SolarWorld’s main market before its previous insolvency had been the US. The company also had a US manufacturing subsidiary, which had been instrumental in petitioning the US government successfully twice before – in obtaining anti-dumping duties on Chinese and later Taiwanese made PV modules. 

SolarWorld Americas, which has been operating separately since the bankruptcy of SolarWorld AG, had been under the stewardship of the German administrators for SolarWorld AG, which had been attempting to sell the US subsidiary in 2017. 

The provisional insolvency administrator of SolarWorld Industries, which bought only the German manufacturing operations of SolarWorld AG, issued a statement noting that it would attempt to find a working solution to keep SolarWorld Industries business operating as well as the production facilities.

“For me, it is important that, above all, the works councils and employees are informed promptly and personally by me” said the provisional insolvency administrator, Dr. Christoph Niering from NIERING STOCK TÖMP Rechtsanwälte. “Together with the management, we are trying to maintain the operative business and to find a continuation solution for the two production sites.”

The insolvency was said to affect a total of 570 employees at SolarWorld headquarters in Bonn and manufacturing plants in Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany.

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