Suntech reduces production at Arizona facility; cuts 50 jobs

16 November 2012 03:25  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Suntech Power Holdings Co will reduce the solar panel throughput at its production facility located at Goodyear in Arizona, US, to 15 megawatts (MW) from about 45MW, the company said late on Thursday.

About 50 positions will be eliminated as a result, the company said in a statement.

The decline in production is in response to global oversupply and higher production costs related to recent import tariffs imposed by the US government, it said.

“All PV [photovoltaic] manufacturers globally are facing challenging market and political conditions, and rationalizing production is necessary to maintain a competitive cost structure," said EL "Mick" McDaniel, managing director of Suntech America.

On 7 November, the US International Trade Commission voted to impose unilateral tariffs of 35.97% on Suntech solar cells produced in China. Rising costs of components like solar cells increase the costs of manufacturing solar panels in the US.

The tariffs on solar cells are in addition to the tariffs imposed by the US government in 2011 on aluminium frames.

"Unnecessary upstream trade barriers have made it difficult and more costly to manufacture solar panels in the US. In addition, these new tariffs limit our ability to utilize Suntech's advanced solar cell technology imported from China," McDaniel said.

By: Felicia Loo

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