PV equipment market remains flat

The global photovoltaic equipment supply business remained weak in the third quarter of 2012, according figures released today by SEMI. The results come on the same day that Reuters reports GT Advanced Technologies has cut 35 more jobs and will idle a solar furnaces plant.

The SEMI data for Q3 2012 shows billings declining 13%, from Q2, to US$609 million, which is itself 60% lower than Q3 2011. Bookings for the quarter totaled $234 million, 56% below Q3 2011.

SEMI’s "Worldwide Photovoltaic Equipment Market Statistics Report" is compiled from data that is gathered jointly with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) from approximately 50 global equipment supply companies.

GT Advanced expects orders in 2014

Today’s Reuters report that GT Advanced Technologies, which has its headquarters in New Hampshire, indicates that the company does not expect orders for its solar furnaces to begin coming in until 2014. The company supplies a portfolio of equipment including polysilicon production equipment and ingot growth systems to the photovoltaic industry.

GT Advanced Technologies’ move to cut 35 jobs comes on top of a previous decision to cut a quarter of its workforce in October. Its idled solar furnace pilot plant is located in St. Louis, Missouri. Reuters reports GT Advanced is currently seeking a strategic partner to purchase the operation. The idling is expected to save around $15 million in expenses.