BREAKING: SolarWorld files for insolvency

Citing “ongoing price distortions” within the market and “no longer a positive forecast for the future”, Germany’s SolarWorld AG is filing for bankruptcy in local courts.

In a short statement released today, the company said that it is unable to meet its debt obligations.

The statement continued that the subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG will be assessed as to whether they can continue as an ongoing concern. This includes SolarWorld Americas, which hosts the largest crystalline silicon PV manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere in near Portland, Oregon.

Frank Asbeck, SolarWorld’s bellicose founder and CEO, described the insolvency as a “bitter step.” He thanked all SolarWorld employees for their “extraordinary struggle… for fair competition in the solar sector.” Asbeck said that the company had “set standards regarding quality, automation, and productivity” within the industry.

Unsurprisingly, Asbeck pointed to the role of “illegal price dumping” by Chinese producers in the SolarWorld’s downfall. The company had led the charge against what it characterized as unfair competition from Chinese producers in both the EU and U.S. The efforts had resulted in antidumping duties and tariffs being introduced in both solar marketplaces.

“The prices for solar cells and modules have crashed massively since the middle of last year,” said Asbeck. “Prospects have now also deteriorated for the coming months. Given this development, the strategic measures taken at the beginning of the year are not sufficient to maintain the positive continuation forecast confirmed in March.”

Addressing the issue of SolarWorld’s production facilities in Germany, Asbeck said the SolarWorld Management Board would “do everything we can to maintain as many jobs as possible.”

SolarWorld Americas declined to comment. pv magazine plans to provide additional coverage as more details become available.

 

Update: This article was updated at 1:02 PM EST on May 10 to feature the statement by Frank Asbeck.