European solar group welcomes dumping probe into Chinese imports

06 September 2012 19:27  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A European solar industry group is applauding Thursday's European Commission decision to launch an anti-dumping investigation into imports of solar panels and their key components – solar cells and wafers – originating from China, it said.

“The Commission took a big step today to save Europe’s green tech sector and broader manufacturing base,” said Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun.

“Chinese companies are selling solar products in Europe far below their cost of production, with a dumping margin of 60% to 80%," Nitzschke said.

“This means that Chinese solar companies are making enormous losses, but are not bankrupt because they are bankrolled by the state,” he said.

Nitzschke said dumping by Chinese firms led to more than 20 European solar manufacturers going out of business in 2012 alone.

"If China destroys the EU solar industry where labour accounts for less than 10% of production costs, then virtually all European manufacturing sectors and jobs are under threat,” he added.

EU ProSun had filed a complaint with the Commission in July.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said earlier on Thursday it regretted the Commission's move.

“The global photovoltaic industry should work together, especially China and European companies amid slow economy growth,” said ministry spokesperson Shen Danyang.

“Limiting Chinese solar panels products not only damages the relationship between China and Europe, but also destroys the healthy development of the global photovoltaic industry and clean energy,” Shen added.

Meanwhile, Chinese photovoltaic products maker Trina Solar said it would vigorously contest the allegations made by ProSun.

Earlier this year, the US Commerce Department imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties on solar panels from China.

Additional reporting by Pearl Bantillo and Viola Pan in Singapore

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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