Astronergy has confirmed its module production in Germany will cease, days after rumors about the future of its Frankfurt (Oder) facility started to spread.
Astronergy Solar Modules GmbH in Frankfurt (Oder) will be restructured to become a European sales and service center. The German site of Astronergy – part of the Chinese Chint Group which has made the news this week thanks to its success in China – will concentrate on marketing and sales, customer care, logistics, customs clearance and other business-related services for European and global customers.
The restructuring is expected to lead to the loss of more than 200 of the 230 jobs currently held at the site. Management will start negotiations with worker representatives while developing a social plan as soon as possible, the company said in a statement.
“The realignment means a serious cut for our company and employees,” said Paul Xinhua Ji, managing director of Astronergy Solar Modules GmbH. “However, in our opinion, the market situation will no longer allow the continuation of production at the site.”
A date for the production shut-down was not given and should be negotiated in the coming weeks.
In future, the company’s modules will come from its Asian production facilities, with the company stating a seamless supply will continue. “All warranties and guarantees for the customers of Astronergy Solar Modules GmbH continue to be valid,” added the statement.
EU manufacture not cost competitive
Astronergy took over the facility in 2014 from insolvent competitor Conergy.
“The cost-effectiveness of producing solar modules in Germany can no longer be guaranteed in the circumstances described,” Astronergy added.
The PV manufacturer had announced short-time work for its employees in September, and hoped the market would stabilize. At the beginning of the year, permission for short-time working was removed.
The headline of this article was amended on 11/01/19 to reflect that module production has not yet stopped at the German facility.