Hard times for thin-film PV module makers as Crystalsol and Calyxo file for insolvency


German cadmium telluride solar panel producer Calyxo TS Solar GmbH filed for insolvency in December for the second time in less than two years in the district court in Aachen, Germany.

The court has appointed Christoph Niering from the law firm Niering Stock Tömp to serve as the provisional insolvency administrator. Talks on the possible arrival of new strategic partners are still ongoing, so management has been forced to open new proceedings.

Niering said on Friday that it is still possible to maintain operations and process existing orders. The talks with potential investors will continue and expand with the participation of the provisional administrator and international advisers.

In April 2018, Calyxo filed for insolvency for the first time due to payment difficulties, following the cancelation of a major order. In July 2018, TS Group GmbH took over the company’s business operations and assumed responsibility for its 130 employees.

The current report notes 110 employees who were employed in production at the Bitterfeld-Wolfen site during peak periods. And since the takeover, Calyxo has been able to further increase the efficiency of its cadmium telluride thin-film modules. In June, the PV manufacturer reported a production efficiency of 16.5%, and said that it was seeking investors to expand its manufacturing output.

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In a separate development, Austria's Österreichischer Verband Creditreform (ÖVC) has revealed that Crystalsol GmbH, an Austrian flexible module manufacturer, has also filed for insolvency. The company is headquartered in Vienna and has a subsidiary in Talinn, Estonia. Ulla Reisch was appointed to serve as insolvency administrator.

Crystalsol specializes in the development of flexible thin-film PV modules. According to the ÖVC, the liabilities amount to around €6.7 million. Nine employees in Vienna and 40 creditors will be affected. The leading insolvency officer at the ÖVC, Stephan Mazal, pointed to long development periods and high startup costs as the reason for the insolvency claim.

“With the help of investors, a restructuring plan for the creditors and a new market entry are to be financed,” said Mazal. Creditors must file their claims by Feb. 12, as the restructuring plan is scheduled for a vote on April 1.

Last week, a German court also opened insolvency proceedings for Solibro Hi-Tech GmbH, a unit of China’s Hanergy group.

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