Renewable Energy Corp. ASA (REC) says it will close its remaining 650 MW multicrystalline wafer plant in Heroya, Norway.
Production at the plant is expected to end in the second quarter of this year. Approximately 460 employees will be affected, the company says. The fixed assets of the wafer plant were written down to zero in 2011, and REC will recognize costs in relation to the close-down of the plant in the second quarter of this year.
‘The solar market has changed dramatically over the last few years,’ notes Ole Enger, president and CEO of REC. ‘Despite solid demand growth, overcapacity continues to negatively affect the wafer prices.
‘[W]ith extreme competition, especially from China, and market prices down to one-third of the prices one year ago, these cost reductions have unfortunately not been sufficient,’ Enger continues. ‘Significant continued losses were to be expected from the wafer operations at Heroya going forward.’
Three of four employee representatives in the REC board of directors voted against the closedown decision, the company notes.