STR Holdings revealed that as of October 7, operations at its St. Augustine, Florida, manufacturing facility will cease as it aims to streamline its US operations and improve its cost structure. “A relatively slow PV market affords us the opportunity to fully consolidate our US operations,” said Robert Yorgensen, president of STR Solar. “This decision reflects our continued focus on optimizing our global capacity and significantly reducing our costs.”
Production will be moved to the company’s 275,000 square foot facility in East Windsor, Connecticut, with machinery and employees from Enfield and Somers, Connecticut, working the facility. Nearly 45 employees will be affected by the Florida plant’s closure, but the company notes that it does not foresee any customer disruption. “We don't believe the closure of this satellite operation will be disruptive to any of our customers, as sales and customer service for products made in St. Augustine have always been handled directly by our team in Connecticut,” added Yorgensen.
STR Holdings plans for the 20,000 square foot facility it leases in Florida to be vacated by the end of the year. The closure is estimated to result in US$1.2 million in pre-tax charges, less than half of which will be cash outlays for employee severance and other costs. STR anticipates that its annual pre-tax cash savings will reach around US$1 million with the consolidation positively affecting its gross margin.
“This is part of our plan to streamline our US operations from three smaller production facilities into a central location, which we believe can operate more efficiently and at a lower cost per unit,” concluded Richard White, chief operating Officer of STR Solar.