Suntech to Close Arizona Factory
GOODYEAR, Ariz. and WUXI, China, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), one of the world's largest producers of solar panels, will stop production at its Goodyear, Arizona, solar panel manufacturing facility on April 3, 2013, with forty-three employees affected.
Higher production costs exacerbated by import tariffs on solar cells and aluminum frames imposed by the U.S. government, as well as global solar module oversupply, contributed to the facility's closure. The decision is in line with Suntech's global restructuring efforts to rationalize production capacity and reduce operating expenses by 20 percent in 2013.
"We want to thank our employees in Goodyear for their hard work and professionalism, as well as the Goodyear and Phoenix communities for their steadfast support of Suntech over the past several years," said E.L "Mick" McDaniel, Managing Director of Suntech America. "These are the growing pains of a maturing industry; although it's a tough time to be a solar manufacturer, there's never been a better time to be a solar customer."
On November 7th, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted to impose unilateral tariffs of 35.97% on Suntech solar cells produced in China, a key component used at Suntech's Goodyear production facility. The tariffs on solar cells came in addition to tariffs imposed by the U.S. government in 2011 on aluminum frames, another key input for solar panel manufacturing. Both tariffs have made it more challenging for Suntech to cost-effectively manufacture solar modules in the U.S.
Suntech's Goodyear, Arizona, manufacturing facility opened in October 2010. The facility reached peak production of 50MW per year in 2011. In November 2012, the facility's production throughput was scaled back to 15MW per year.
"Rationalizing production capacity is necessary to improve our manufacturing utilization and help Suntech to return to profitability," said David King, Suntech's Chief Executive Officer. "We're hopeful that these tough decisions will help put Suntech back on track for growth."
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) produces industry-leading solar products for residential, commercial, industrial, and utility applications. With regional headquarters in China, Switzerland, and the
United States, and gigawatt-scale manufacturing worldwide, Suntech has delivered more than 25,000,000 photovoltaic panels to over a thousand customers in more than 80 countries. Suntech's pioneering R&D creates customer-centric innovations that are driving solar to grid parity against fossil fuels. Suntech's mission is to provide everyone with reliable access to nature's cleanest and most abundant energy source.
For more information about Suntech's people and products visit http://www.suntech-power.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements, and includes stopping production at the Goodyear factory. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Suntech's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F. Suntech does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.
SOURCE Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.