The Guardian reported yesterday that riot police had to break up a four day protest by several hundred villagers in Haining, after they "overturned cars and stormed the compound" of JinkoSolar.
JinkoSolar has now released a statement explaining that it has suspended operations due to reports that Zhejiang Jinko Co. Ltd. discharged hazardous waste into a river. They will remain suspended, said the company, until the local environmental protection authority has assessed if any damage has been caused.
"An initial investigation conducted by the local environmental protection authority indicates that the pollution may have been caused by the improper storage of waste containing fluoride," said the statement.
It added, "The company will take all necessary steps to ensure that it is in compliance with all environmental rules and regulations. Any deficiencies in environmental protection uncovered will be immediately remedied. The company expects that its facility in Haining will resume operations within the next few days."
According to analysts at Jefferies & Company Ltd, JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd has also been fined $75,000.
The Haining manufactruing plant produces silicon ingots, wafers and solar modules. As of June 30, it had the capacity to manufacture 1,100 megawatts of solar cells.
JinkoSolar says that to compensate for the closure, it expects to outsource the cell processing to a third party vendor under a "tolling" arrangement. "The halt in production is not expected to have material impact on the Company’s operations and module delivery commitment to its customers," concluded the statement.