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Jun 22nd, 2012
Multicrystalline silicon solar cell manufacturer Photovoltech in great difficulty
Photovoltech finds itself in great difficulty and announced the intention of a potential collective dismissal and a potential closure of the company.
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  • Massive overproduction on the global market and competition from low-cost Asian cell producers have put the company in great difficulty
  • Photovoltech regrets to announce the intention of a potential collective dismissal and a potential closure of the company.

The European market for cells for solar panels is currently suffering from massive overproduction, a price war and competition from low-cost Asian cell producers. Global production capacity amounted to approximately 50 Gigawatt (GW) in 2011, while demand was limited to 29 GW. Predictions for 2012 and 2013 would not make it possible to absorb this excess capacity. The market has also faced a dramatic decrease in cell prices since early 2011, ranging from 40 to 60%; a decrease that was not compensated by a comparable cost reduction. Within this context Photovoltech is confronted with a structural deficit and the company reported a loss of 120 million Euros for the fiscal year 2011.

Photovoltech sought all means possible to counter the situation. Actions included reducing costs and increasing the quality of the cells, but unfortunately these measures could not reverse the structural deficit or distinguish the company sufficiently from its Asian competitors. The shareholders continued to provide financial support. Photovoltech, together with its shareholders, searched for a potential partner or investor to ensure the continuity of the company. These actions were regretfully not successful. According to the Board of Directors and the management of Photovoltech, the current market situation does not allow for a recovery.

Photovoltech realises that what was announced is extremely difficult for all its employees. 267 employees (of which 183 are manufacturing staff) could potentially be affected by this decision.

The Board of Directors and management team are committed to maintain an open, ongoing dialogue with employees and their representatives throughout the consultation process in order to find the most appropriate solutions.

If the intention of a potential collective dismissal and a potential closure should be confirmed after the information and consultation phase, Photovoltech and its shareholders commit to fully supporting each employee in the search for new employment. This would include analysing potential redeployments inside both shareholder groups.


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