Chinese market turbulence affects another slew of PV employees in Taiwan

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While Chinese polysilicon giant Daqo has defiantly announced plans to ride out the volatility in its domestic market, the struggles of some of its Taiwanese rivals have been highlighted by the announcement of more redundancies.

PV cell maker Motech Industries revealed a move to cut its workforce by 2% late last month – “to reduce the cost of … supporting manpower to improve overall competitiveness,” and with “the industry’s challenges still high”, according to a stock market update – Taiwan Solar Energy Corp (TSEC) announced it would be reducing headcount by 20%, in an announcement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

The company stated some of the affected employees – estimated to number around 275 workers in a report on today’s Taipei Times website – would be offered a transfer to the business’ module factory in Pingtung County.

TSEC announced the move is being made as part of a strategy to focus on manufacturing higher efficiency PERC cells, and that staff would be laid off by the end of the year, with foreign staff being assisted to return home, where possible.

With the English language version of the investor relations section of TSEC’s website blank – and no mention made of the lay-offs anywhere on the site – the Taipei Times report states first-half losses this year grew to NT$518 million (US$16.8m) from NT$442m for the same period last year, with revenue from the first three quarters falling 40%, year-on-year, to NT$2.96 billion from NT$4.94bn, illustrating the effect Beijing’s decision to damp down Chinese public subsidies for solar has had.

The report adds, Taiwanese wafer maker Green Energy Co emulated Motech by announcing a 19% reduction in its workforce last month.

The Taiwanese government is striving to prop up its solar industry and has committed NT$2.78bn to the United Renewable Energy company that will be formed out of the merger of cell makers Neo Solar Power, Gintech Energy and Solartech Energy.