Astronergy closes German module factory

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Chinese module manufacturer Astronergy has closed its panel factory in Frankfurt (Oder), as part of a plan it initially announced in January. Its parent company, the Chint Group, acquired the facility from German module supplier Conergy in 2014.

“With the swift agreement to discontinue production, which ended last weekend, the Frankfurt/Oder location is now focusing on reorganization as an important sales and service center in the region,” an Astronergy spokeswoman told pv magazine. According to local media reports, about 180 employees will have now to leave the company. However, the spokeswoman said that “about 40 employees will join a transfer company” from April 1.

“Astronergy’s German office will focus on sales, customer care and marketing in the future, as well as logistics, customs clearance and other business-related services for European and global customers,” she explained. The company will start with around 20 employees to handle product management, process orders and provide technical services.

In the future, the company plans to supply its European customers with modules from other locations. In January, Managing Director Paul Xinhua Ji attributed the closure of production in Brandenburg to the market situation.

“All warranties and warranties for the customers of Astronergy Solar Modules GmbH will continue to apply,” the company said at the time.

Last autumn, after the expiry of minimum import prices in the EU, the PV manufacturer was forced to register short-time work for its employees.