Chinese company threatens to drop US PV plans over anti-dumping petition

07. November 2011 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends, Trade cases | By:  Becky Stuart

According to reports, Chinese power plant developer, CECEP Solar Energy Technology Co. Ltd has halted development of a planned $500 million U.S. photovoltaic project, due to the anti-dumping petition submitted by SolarWorld.

SolarWorld Freiburg, Germany solar photovoltaic production facilities

SolarWorld, which has photovoltaic module production facilties in Germany, is leading the petition. Image: SolarWorld.

Reuters reports that the company has halted its plans, because installing Chinese photovoltaic panels in the U.S. would become "uneconomic", if duties on imported Chinese products that are said to breach agreed global trade rules, are introduced. It had planned to install solar in the states of California, New Jersey and Texas.

Last month, on October 19, a stir was created when a petition was submitted to the government in Washington from U.S. manufacturers, led by SolarWorld, requesting that Chinese trade practices be investigated.

In a four-volume petition, the Chinese photovoltaic industry was accused of "inundating the U.S. market with solar cells and panels at dumped prices to systematically secure a higher market share." Such behavior, SolarWorld claimed, constitutes unfair trade practices.

The petition, however, has been criticized from industry, with many of the Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers hitting back. In a poll conducted by pv magazine, meanwhile, 76.4 percent of the 140 respondents stated that it should not have been submitted, in comparison to the 20 percent who believed it should have been.

Responding to the action, U.S. President Obama said the case would be carefully investigated and action taken if rules have been violated.

A conference call has been scheduled for this Wednesday, November 9, by Jefferies CleanTech research analyst, Jesse Pichel and international trade law expert Edward Lebow, to discuss the petition.

Such issues as the nature of the allegations, the criteria for determining unfair trade practices, and the potential impacts and outcomes of the filing, including antidumping and/or countervailing duties will be discussed.

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