February 11 (Renewables Now) - An auction will start this or next month for all equipment that can be taken out of insolvent German firm SolarWorld’s site in Freiberg as the search for an investor has failed, the Leipziger Volkszeitung reports.
Christoph Niering, appointed insolvency administrator in March 2018, was cited as saying that a number of prospective buyers have checked the production and research facilities, but no deal could be reached. For some the economic prospects of module manufacturing were not attractive enough, while for others the lack of funding proved an obstacle.
Competition remains fierce in the solar industry. A month ago, Germany-based firm Astronergy Solarmodule GmbH said it would discontinue solar module manufacturing at its 350-MWp factory in Frankfurt (Oder) as the market situation, and increased competition from China in particular, did not allow production to continue at the site.
German photovoltaic (PV) modules maker SolarWorld filed for insolvency in May 2017. In August 2017 its assets were acquired by SolarWorld Industries GmbH, in which the Qatar Foundation had a 49% stake, while SolarWorld founder Frank Asbeck held 51%. The company than filed for insolvency proceedings again in March 2018.
Solytic, a solar monitoring software developer, recently said it was buying an online portal for solar power systems from SolarWorld. Other assets have also been sold and, in addition to auctioning equipment, Niering will also be seeking buyers for land and buildings.
SolarWorld America, the former US subsidiary of the German manufacturer, was bought by SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR) in 2018.