United Solar Ovonic (Uni-Solar), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices and one of the largest manufacturers of flexible solar laminate products, has been forced to temporarily shut down its Michigan production operations in Auburn Hills and Greenville, while also delaying the planned ramp at its second facility in Greenville. The s-Si thin-film specialist cited the economic conditions and weak demand for the shutdowns, which will last 4 weeks at Greenville through to June 17 and 3 weeks at Auburn Hills, which will reopen June 7.
Energy Conversion Devices had also responded earlier this week to news that a major end-user of its solar laminates, Solar Integrated Technologies, was having financial problems after ending talks for a US$25 million line of credit and had retained Thomas Weisel Partners to look for potential buyers of the roofing specialist.
The company had previously implemented a two-week production hiatus that began on March 22, making this the second time production has been halted to reduce inventory and preserve cash in the current economic climate.
Update: In a later press statement Energy Conversion Devices said that the furlough had also begun in Tijuana, and will continue for the first two weeks of May as well as the first two weeks of June.
The company said it would discuss the production furloughs in greater detail at its May 11th quarterly conference call.