REC reduces PV production in Narvik

Norwegian Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) is intending to halt production of solar cells at its Narvik plant. According to the company, this is a "response to the current market conditions". REC arguments e.g. with second quarter operating results, which are expected to be even worse than those in the first quarter of 2011.

A process with the trade unions shall be opened soon, with the intention to stop production at the oldest wafer plants at Herøya, Norway, as well as at the solar cell factory in Narvik. Wafer manufacturing is expected to be reduced by a volume of 125 MW in the third quarter of 2011, which according to the company, represents 30 % of RECs Norwegian capacity in that sector. Cell and module productions shall be be reduced by 50 MW in the same period.

The planned "temporary lay-offs" will affect 300 employees at the Herøya facility as well as 200 people working for REC in Narvik.

REC follows a strategy to shift main parts of its production to Singapore. Last November, REC has opened a huge facility there, vertically integrating processes like wafer, cell and module production. Only two months later, REC sold its PV module manufacturing in Glava, Sweden, to Perfekta Solar AB and Innotech Solar (ITS). The company's south-east Asian location according to REC is not expected to be be affected by the current halts.

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