Solon to stop manufacturing dual-axis tracking systems; 50 redundancies expected05. August 2010 | Careers & Recruitment, Industry & Suppliers | By: Becky Stuart
Solon SE has told pv magazine it is to stop manufacturing dual-axis tracking systems due to the “drastic” decrease in silicon prices. The company also announced that 50 people from its Austrian subsidiary Solon Hilber Technologie GmbH (SHT) will be made redundant as a result of a management buyout.
As part of its restructuring program initiated last year, Solon has introduced “a series of measures for optimizing cost structures and hence improving the competitiveness of the company on the global stage”. A spokesperson for the company told pv magazine this has meant it has decided to stop manufacturing its dual-axis tracking systems. The reason behind this decision lies in the fact that the systems were at their most profitable when the price of silicon was high. However, even though it is possible to obtain more output with a dual system, it is more cost-effective to use a single-axis tracking system, due to “high maintenance and production costs”.
The company additionally said it will spin off the core operations of SHT. Consequently, SHT’s business activities will be undertaken by original founder Franz Hilber, under the new name of Hilber Solar GmbH from next January 1. The new company will specialize in the manufacturing of newly developed photovoltaics systems. While 85 workers out of 135 from the SHT facility will go to work at the newly created Hilber Solar GmbH – led by original founder Franz Hilber – 50 will be made redundant.
In a statement, the company said: “The spin-off of SHT is a central component of the restructuring program that Solon initiated last year … Based on the results of a comprehensive manufacturing site analysis, Solon has chosen to abandon its limited-capacity manufacturing plant in Steinach in order to archive necessary cost savings. The company has also decided to stop manufacturing dual-axis solar tracking systems and instead focus on other solar power systems.”
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