The German solar industry is losing a further production site. Hanwha Q CELLS announced today that it will be shutting down its production facilities for solar cells and photovoltaic modules on 1 March 2015 and moving it to "locations with more competitive cost structures". The transfer is expected to eliminate 550 of the 900 jobs in Germany.
Hanwha Q CELLS announced the decision to close the German production site for solar cells and photovoltaic modules as part of a programme "to enhance the company's profile in the areas of research and development (R&D) as well as production." The underlying goal is to "improve cost efficiency and increase the competitiveness of Hanwha Q CELLS as a whole." The German cell production facilities (230 MW), including the production equipment, will be transferred to the main production site in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. A production site for modules has not yet been specified, according to the company's press release. Only approximately 350 jobs in the departments of technology, research and development, quality management, component sales, and power plant solutions will be preserved. In order to be able to continue developing and testing new technologies and products, a small production facility at R&D level will remain at the site. 'Made in Germany' will become 'Engineered in Germany'.
The former market leader in the production of solar cells Q-Cells was acquired by the South Korean Hanwha Group in October 2012. In December 2014, Hanwha Q CELLS was merged with the company's own subsidiary Hanwha SolarOne.