Solar glass manufacturer criticises Chinese oversupply

14. October 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news, Markets & Trends | By:  Max Hall

Japanese glass company AGC is betting on auto glass because it says it cannot compete with Chinese prices. The well-worn complaint echoes those of EU and U.S. solar companies.

Solar glass.

Japanese glass company AGC has hit out at the oversupply and low price of solar cell cover glass being churned out by Chinese manufacturers.

Japanese glass company AGC is the latest concern to take a swipe at Chinese-manufacturing driven oversupply.

In a press release on Thursday, the Asahi Glass Company (AGC) announced that its solar cell cover glass manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, will be converted into a factory for automotive glass.

AGC said its AGC Flat Glass (Suzhou) subisidiary will 'gradually' stop running its solar cell manufacturing line with the conversion to auto glass manufacture complete in the first quarter of 2015.

That would mean AGC's three Chinese manufacturing sites are all devoted to auto glass and AGC cited the decline in solar cover glass prices – thanks to Chinese mass manufacturing and a resultant oversupply – as a reason for the switch.

AGC said it had closed down its U.S. solar cover glass manufacturing facility last year, as well as halting the production of the raw materials required, in the Phillippines.

But, the company added, those measures were not enough to make it able to compete with Chinese-made solar glass, a complaint which echoes the ongoing legal cases lodged by failed U.S. solar manufacturers against Chinese solar companies.

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