SunPower settles Philippines wafer dispute for $50.5 million

U.S. vertically integrated solar developer and manufacturer SunPower has reached a $50.5 million settlement with First Philippine Electric Corporation (FPEC) and First Philec Solar Corporation (FPSC) over a monocrystalline wafer supply dispute that dates back to 2012.

Last year both FPEC and FPSC were awarded partial damages by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce for an alleged non-compliance by SunPower subsidiary SunPower Philippines Manufacturing in regards to a pre-agreed mono wafer supply agreement.

In its latest SEC filing, SunPower revealed that it has agreed to pay the $50.5 million sum to settle all claims by FPEC and FPSC, and has also agreed to transfer all shares owned by the SunPower subsidiary in the FPSC joint venture (JV) to FPEC.

According to SunPower, such financial provisions had already been set aside in anticipation of the payout, and hence the sum will not unduly impact its forthcoming financials.

The dispute stems from a desire by SunPower Philippines Manufacturing to end its wafer supply deal with FPEC prematurely in 2013.

SunPower’s manufacturing presence in the Philippines has been longstanding, but the company has sought previously to limit manufacturing capacity at its Fab 1 facility. In its Q1 2016 financials, SunPower confirmed that its Fab 4 production plant, also located in the Philippines, had begun to ship cells.