REC Silicon lays off 30 employees at US plant

The polysilicon manufacturer blamed the ongoing solar trade dispute between the U.S. and China for its decision. CEO Tore Torvund added that polysilicon production at the facility will be curtailed, as excessive polysilicon inventories have not yet been cleared.

The company said that this decision was due to the ongoing solar trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which has led to lower production at the facility. It now aims to more effectively align polysilicon production in Butte with demand in the semiconductor market, primarily by shifting its polysilicon production mix.

“We expect that once those inventories do clear, semiconductor polysilicon demand will increase and Butte will be well-positioned in the future,” Torvund said.

In its recent financial results, REC Silicon said that average polysilicon sales prices fell by 6.9%, due to restricted access to markets in China stemming from the ongoing trade dispute and polysilicon overcapacity. The company’s other U.S. polysilicon manufacturing facility in Moses Lake, Washington, is already operating at a reduced utilization rate of 50%.