Germany’s largest PV manufacturer, SolarWorld is closing down legacy module production lines in the US and Germany as part of measures to strengthen its competitiveness. After over a year of increasing capacity in both countries, SolarWorld is closing its module plant in Camarillo, California while legacy lines in Freiberg, Saxony will be taken out of service, according to the company. As a result, short-term ‘loan worker’ numbers in Germany will be reduced, though the company did not provide total workforce reduction numbers. SolarWorld said that production in the US would be concentrated at its facility in Hillsboro, Oregon.
“With this, we will continue to keep our wage cost share at below 10%,” commented Frank Asbeck, CEO of SolarWorld. “Especially in contrast to manufacturers who increasing relocate to low-wage countries or come from there, this is of strategic importance. It means that we offer quality from Germany and quality made in the U.S. that is competitive with the Far East.”
Although SolarWorld claimed it had reached a module production capacity of 1,000MW this year, it did not provide an update on the amount of capacity being taken off-line or the costs expected from the restructuring of manufacturing.