SolarWorld halts production in Germany as raw materials run out


From pv magazine Germany

Insolvent German PV panel maker Solarworld Industries GmbH halted module production at its manufacturing facility in Freiberg, Saxony at the weekend.

Christoph Niering, of law firm and insolvency administrator Niering Stock Tömp, is said to be in negotiations with a potential investor, although details such as the purchase price and financing have yet to be clarified.

“Negotiations may provide concrete results in the second half of October,” Andre Dobiey, a spokesman for Niering Stock Tömp told pv magazine.

Production had to be idled, he said, as the company has run out of panel raw materials. The potential investor – according to Mr. Dobiey a European PV company – has shown interest in the continuation of production in Freiberg and in keeping on employees.

However, 120 of Solarworld's remaining 150 module production workers were relocated to a transfer company at the end of September, Mr. Dobiey said. At the beginning of August around 90 former Solarworld staff from Freiberg were transferred, to be supported in their search for new jobs.

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Arnstadt purchasers still circling

A second transfer company was created for employees of Solarworld's cell production operation in Arnstadt. Production in Thuringia was discontinued in June and the equipment is being auctioned off, along with 700 items from the Freiberg inventory – not including module manufacturing equipment, which the unnamed potential buyer has expressed interest in acquiring. “These are just things that the potential investor does not need,” said the spokesman.

It is expected around 30 employees will stay in Freiberg until at least the end of the year, to gradually shut down production and take care of hazardous substances and factory halls.

A similarly-sized team is employed for the same duties in Arnstadt. There are said to be several interested parties in buying that site “however these are currently still under review and there are still no binding offers,” added Mr. Dobiey. The insolvency administrator is aiming to complete a sale ahead of financial statements due in the fourth quarter.

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