Solar PV manufacturing company SunEdison has announced that it will indefinitely close its shuttered polysilicon manufacturing facility in Merano, Italy immediately in accordance with a previously announced 2011 global restructuring plan
The Merano polysilican facility was shuttered in December 2011 as part of the company’s plan to better align the business with current and expected market conditions and improve cost competitiveness. The company has explored the various options over the last two years however the identified cost reductions were not enough to sustain the economic viability of the plant in the current market environment.
The closure of the plant will affect around 200 employees and the associated electronic grade TCS (trichlorsilane) operation, which employs 35 people, will be closed over the next 12 months.
SunEdison will also consolidate its semiconductor crystal operations which will include the transitioning of small diameter crystal activities in its St Peters, Missouri, facility to other crystal facilities in Korea, Taiwan and Italy. This will affect around 100 employees in St Peters and be implemented over the next 12 months.
“We never take actions like these lightly” said Shaker Sadasivam, Executive Vice President and President of Semiconductor Materials. “However, in light of current market conditions, today's announcement is necessary to preserve our strong competitive position and strengthen our future. We will make every effort to provide the necessary assistance to our affected employees. The decision to close the Merano polysilicon and TCS operations and to transition crystal operations is the result of our continuous efforts to improve the performance of our business through solutions that will keep these facilities economically strong.”
Mr Sadasivam expressed the company’s appreciation for the support provided by the Bolzano Province and the Italian government in helping to achieve lower power rates and said that the company looks forward to working with them to help make SunEdison’s Italian operations more competitive.