Schott Solar halts wafer manufacture11. January 2012 | Markets & Trends, Industry & Suppliers, Global PV markets, Top News | By: Jonathan Gifford
In what it says are efforts to realign its business away from upstream manufacturing, Schott Solar announced today that it will discontinue its wafer manufacturing processes. 290 jobs will be affected by the move.
Attributing the move to declining prices in wafer and cell supply, Schott issued a statement indicating that "Asian competitors" were responsible for the falling prices.
In the statement, CEO, Martin Heming summarized the realignment strategy: "We need to stop pursuing upstream stages of the value creation chain that only generate losses and concentrate on the fast-growing module and project business instead." He added that he remains optimistic in part because the company managed to sell more modules in 2011 than ever before.
Schott says attempts would be made to avoid having to dismiss staff at the Jena wafer plant. A technology center for monocrystalline wafers will be opened at the site and thin-film module manufacture will continue at there also.
Evaluating future market conditions, Schott continued that while over-capacities will continue, opportunities in the way of technical innovation are available for the company. The new Schott Perform Mono high-performance modules, which the company says be available in the first half of 2012, are a part of this strategy.
Downstream markets and project development were also highlighted as areas that remained open to the Mainz-based company. The company claims major projects in Europe – Germany, Greece, Italy and France – and in Thailand are currently being realized.
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