Taken at the District Court of Bonn, the decision of the creditors’ meeting could be crucial for the more than 500 employees of the insolvent Solarworld Industries GmbH.
The creditors, in fact, have approved the proposal of insolvency administrator, Christoph Niering and the provisional committee of creditors to stop the loss-making business by the end of September at the latest, if an investor cannot be found.
In addition to the current economic situation, Niering also addressed the lack of prospects for maintaining the manufacturer’s current strategy.
Overall, SolarWorld currently has more than 500 employees at its three German locations in Bonn, Arnstadt and Freiberg. In preparation for possible closure, a reconciliation of interests and a social plan are already being negotiated with local works councils.
In agreement with the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), two transfer companies, which are usually aimed at relocating workforce, and in which affected SolarWorld employees could switch from August 1, were also set up. These would continue to receive financial support in the next six months. Niering will personally inform the employees in the coming weeks about further procedures.
The insolvency administrator presented his proposal at the creditors’ meeting, speaking of the bad prospects for solar technology in Germany. The last major manufacturer of solar cells in Germany is facing its immediate end. “The Federal Government seems to have given up research, development and production of solar cells in Germany. Otherwise, I cannot explain the lack of political reaction to the insolvency of SolarWorld as the last major German developer and manufacturer of solar cells,” said Niering.
He also pointed out that with the “Microelectronics Research Factory” the federal government had succeeded in preserving an important key industry in a difficult market environment. “The project Forschungsfabrik Photovoltaik not only secured many jobs, but above all the years of research know-how and the resulting patents could be maintained in Germany,” said Niering.