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Acquisition of Bosch solar plants in Europe beefs up SolarWorld’s production strength

published: 2013-11-27 10:26

SolarWorld AG, parent company of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., will take over much of Bosch Solar Energy, boosting SolarWorld’s annual global production capacity over 1 gigawatt at all key production phases, the company announced on November 26th. Expected to be completed by late February, the acquisition will lift the company’s world capacity into the world’s top 10 and bolster its status as the largest crystalline-silicon solar producer outside of the People’s Republic of China.

The acquisition of Bosch’s cell and manufacturing in Arnstadt, Germany, will heighten the company’s scale efficiencies, diversify its product offerings and usher in opportunities for inter-site research and development, according to SolarWorld. The company will operate major sites concentrating on three product categories: poly-crystalline cells and modules in Freiberg, Germany, mono-crystalline cells and modules in Arnstadt and advanced-technology, high-wattage cells and modules in Hillsboro, the company’s hub for the Americas. Combined, the sites will possess capacities exceeding 1 GW each for wafers, cells and modules.

The company will acquire Bosch’s solar assets, including about 800 employees, without diminishing its financial resources. The announcement comes as SolarWorld prepares to finalize a debt- and organization-restructuring process that has spanned 2013. The newly formed SolarWorld Industries-Thüringen GmbGH will operate the Arnstadt facilities.

SolarWorld said the capacity expansion and diversification further enable SolarWorld, already the world’s technology expertise, to better contend with the market-distorting effects of solar- industry turmoil stemming from the Chinese government’s intervention in American markets through illegal trade aggression. SolarWorld won U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy trade cases against China’s state-sponsored industry, the company said, but Chinese companies have used a loophole in the trade remedies to continue their illegal trade practices.

“Thanks to our technology expertise, our product reliability and quality and now the expansion of our production capacities, SolarWorld is weathering the industrial wreckage that continues to accompany China’s green-energy mercantilism,” said Mukesh Dulani, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc., based in Hillsboro. “Meantime, the value of SolarWorld’s high product and production standards to back solar solutions guaranteed to perform for decades is becoming increasingly clear within our markets.”

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