M+W Group to shutter German semiconductor, PV unit

German engineering and construction giant M+W Group is pulling the plug on its semiconductor and photovoltaic plant construction unit, M+W Germany GmbH.

The move signifies the company’s exit from plant construction for the PV and semiconductor sectors in Germany, but M+W appears intent to continue operations elsewhere. "This does not mean that we are completely leaving plant construction in these areas," an M+W Group spokesman told pv magazine. The company will move PV and semiconductor plant construction activities to other subsidiaries.

The decision is a response to the shift in the global PV market. "New photovoltaic plants are currently being built mainly in Asia and America," the spokesman added. The market trend is similar in the semiconductor sector. Germany is no longer seen as a logical central location.

The company informed employees last week about the move but has released no further details about the decision made by M+W Group’s Austrian owner, Georg Stumpf.

The time frame for M+W Germany’s shutdown remains open. The company is currently in negotiations with the works council over a compensation and social package for the 215 affected employees. The course of the negotiations will be a deciding factor in the timing of the unit’s closure, according to the company spokesman.

M+W Group has more than 30 companies wordwide with more than 8,000 employees.