SolarWorld Americas secures $5 million loan

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By Daniel Seeger

SolarWorld Americas has received a green light from its creditors for another $5 million loan. The funds will be used, the company said, to finance current operations. SolarWorld added it aims at fully utilizing its production capacity by the third quarter, and to hire around 200 new employees.

The PV maker, which currently employs about 300 people, said it expects to return to profitability thanks to the new funds in the future.

“With this latest cash infusion, our creditors are demonstrating their confidence in our company and its outlook for growth,” said SolarWorld Americas CEO, Juergen Stein.

Creditors had previously granted another loan of $6 million, while allowing $6 million in proceeds from the sale of a warehouse building to be used for operations.

SolarWorld Americas has also highlighted the positive impact of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in the Section 201 case. Suniva had initially filed for relief under the Section 201 process, and was later joined by SolarWorld Americas. Through this process, President Trump imposed 30% tariffs on imported solar modules and cells from most countries.

Stein argues that the market has responded well to the duties. However, the main national solar trade group, U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) notes that the tariffs have already impacted the U.S. solar market, and expects further damage. In this prediction they are joined by GTM Research and IHS Markit, both of which expect around a 10% decline in installations versus their base-case scenarios.

After the insolvency of parent company SolarWorld AG in mid-2017, the U.S. company is still looking for an investor. In particular, the decision of the Trump government was considered decisive for the investor talks.

“As for now, there are concrete offers from five investors,” said a spokesman for the law firm Piepenburg-Gerling Rechtsanwälte to pv magazine.