The last two years have been brutal for the solar panel industry, has a never ending oversupply & has led to thousands of bankruptcies around the world. In the midst of the carnage, top Chinese solar panel producers have kept on increasing capacity and production to take market share from others. This has led to a huge backlash from USA and Europe where most solar panel companies have gone bellyup. While USA has already imposed harsh duties on Chinese solar cell imports, Europe has also started an investigation. Chinese solar module players are desperate, as Europe is a 21 billion euro market for Chinese made solar panels. All the companies are bleeding money as prices have fallen more than costs. Despite cutting costs to the bone, these companies are running huge losses as solar panel prices keep plummeting to new unbelievable lows.
Now even the big daddies of the Chinese solar industry are being forced to slash jobs and production as they run out of money after two years of losses. The biggest solar panel producer Suntech is now reducing solar cell capacity and cutting 1500 jobs. Here is a list of solar job losses and production cuts announced by these companies in the last couple of months.
Suntech Job Losses
Suntech said it would cut solar cell capacity by 25 percent, through cutbacks at its Wuxi facility, near Shanghai, that would affect about 1,500 jobs. Most staff would be offered jobs at other plants but some would face severance, it said.
LDK looks to Sell Itself as it Runs out of Money
The company was looking to raise funds and may sell a strategic stake, CEO Xiaofeng Peng said on a conference call with analysts, after unveiling a second-quarter loss nearly three times as high as a year earlier.
“In the past few months we’ve had in-depth discussions with several companies and few of them have shown a significant interest in taking a strategic investment position in the company,” he said, adding that the company had not received any offer yet.
Trina Solar to reorganize
Trina Solar today announced cost-cutting measures including the separation of its manufacturing and power plant development businesses and “significant” head count cuts as it wards off the effects of plunging prices in the industry.
GCL Poly denies production cuts
Zhu Gong Shan, executive director, chairman and CEO of China-based solar firm GCL-Poly, has refuted rumors of shutting down company operations for a month starting on September 20. According to Zhu, a 15-day break will be taken to accommodate China’s October 1 holidays. Zhu added that current capacity utilization rate of GCL-Poly is 80%.
The firm has been seeing increasing competition from small- and medium-size solar wafer firms which have been using extremely low prices to attract GCL-Poly’s customers. Also, despite China’s anti-dumping investigation against US and South Korea-based polysilicon firms, imported solar material has been highly competitive in quality and price.