Germany’s Bosch to exit photovoltaics business

22 March 2013 18:03  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Bosch plans to exit its loss-making photovoltaics (PV) business and is seeking to sell - as far as possible - the related plants and assets quickly, the Germany-based international automotive and technology major said on Friday.

Bosch’s move comes amid declining prices and continued large global overcapacities in the PV and solar industry, which has already forced the insolvency of many firms in Germany, China and elsewhere. The company currently employs 3,000 people in its solar energy division.

Bosch said it will end production of ingots, wafers, cells, and modules at the beginning of 2014. 

The company’s module plant near Lyon, France, is to be sold. Plans to build a plant in Malaysia will be ended, it said. All PV development and marketing activities are likewise to be ended, it added.

However, Bosch is to continue operations for the time being at Bosch Solar CISTech in Brandenburg, Germany, where it develops thin-film technologies. A decision about that unit will be made at a later date, it said.

“Despite extensive measures to reduce manufacturing cost over the past year, we were unable to offset the drop in prices, which was as much as 40%” said Stefan Hartung, the Bosch board member responsible for energy and building technologies.

In related industry news, China’s solar panels major Suntech Power said this week that banks had initiated insolvency proceedings against its main operating business in China,Wuxi Suntech.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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