Schott Solar confirms crystalline exit29. June 2012 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By: Becky Beetz
Germany’s Schott Solar AG will cease all crystalline silicon production, due to the "drastic deterioration" of the photovoltaic market conditions said to be driven, particularly, by Asian competitors. The company’s thin film and solar thermal operations will continue, however.
Yesterday, Germany’s Wormser Zeitung reported that company would be halting crystalline production in Mainz. However, according to a statement released from Schott last night, it will withdraw from the segment altogether throughout the course of this year. The company added that the decision affects around 870 employees worldwide, of which 80 are stationed in Mainz and 140 in Alzenau. The aim, it said, is to avoid compulsory redundancies.
The statement continued, "The management of Schott Solar had extensively tested several options for continuing crystalline photovoltaic production. However, in the present market environment, it is not economically feasible."
It added that photovoltaics continues to be characterized by overcapacity and massive price drops. And, while Schott had managed to lower its production costs by 50 percent over the past two years, had carried out upstream restructuring and achieved "excellent" R&D progress, it said the "unstable" European political environment and Asian competition could not be overcome.
While the company will no longer manufacture crystalline silicon photovoltaic products, it will continue on with its thin film production in Jena. Meanwhile, it said that its concentrated solar power business is "operating successfully" and will also be continued.
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