Germany: Avancis in negotiations to stop production at second CIGS facility

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Spokesperson, Regina Decker told pv magazine that Avancis is currently in negotiations with the workers council to introduce shorter working hours at its 100 MW Fab 2 CIGS manufacturing facility, which produces frameless photovoltaic modules.

It is not known how long the negotiations will run for, or how many employees will be affected by the company’s plans. However, Decker said management hopes they will go "pretty fast", so that production can be stopped this June. In the meantime, work will continue.

Decker said the decision had been taken in light of the current market prices for photovoltaic modules, which are around 40% less than Avancis’ production costs. "Due to the continuing oversupply of PV modules, market prices have slumped to a level below the commercial viability for most market players," added MD Hartmut Fischer.

"It is quite possible that the prices will rebound with the arrival of EU anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar products or with a further global reduction of excess manufacturing capacity," he said.

Avancis is hopeful that the market conditions will improve within the next 12 months, continued Decker. In that instance, the company is ready to ramp up production "immediately."

"Now that the Fab2 plant has reached a steady state, stopping and restarting would not be a major problem; this is far more preferable than following today’s market prices which are too low for any player and any technology," concluded Fischer in a statement released.

On April 12, Avancis announced that it will turn its 20 MW Fab 1 CIGS manufacturing facility into a technology center. As such, 67 temporary employment contracts will not be renewed.