January 11 (Renewables Now) - Germany-based firm Astronergy Solarmodule GmbH, part of China’s Chint Group, today announced that it will discontinue solar module manufacturing at its 350-MWp factory in Frankfurt (Oder).
The market situation does not allow production to continue at the site, managing director Paul Xinhua Ji said. The move will affect 200 of the company’s 230 employees in Frankfurt (Oder).
Six months ago, Astronergy said demand for German-made high-quality solar modules was as strong as ever, and it was happy it had won over wholesale customers who previously sourced modules from SolarWorld. The start of September, however, marked the end of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for Chinese solar panels entering the EU, including the minimum import price (MIP) undertaking.
Astronergy today said the increased competition from China is the reason why it is closing production. The company’s plan for Frankfurt (Oder) is to focus on marketing, sales and customer support.
Near the end of 2013, the insolvency administrator of German firm Conergy AG signed the documents for the sale of the module plant in Frankfurt/Oder to Astronergy.