Global solar demand changes and continuous price drop in PV modules has led to a sluggish market situation. REC Group, an international and integrated PV manufacturer, decided to cut 3% of workforce from its global sites for cost reduction as well as restructuring.
REC Group hired approximately 2,200 workers in the world before the job cut – which was translated to layoff around 65 employees. REC accounted the global price pressure on PV modules for the company’s restructuring, and believed the restructuring to put the company “on a stronger path compete and grow,” REC’s CEO Steve O’Neil told PV Tech.
O’Neil stated that REC will continue investing in the future, including purchasing new equipment for its production facility in Norway, and upgrading its Singapore operations. According to PV Tech, REC planned to invest US$48 million of capital expenditure in upgrading all production at its manufacturing facility in Singapore.
REC’s Singapore facility produces half-cut PERC cell for its “TwinPeak” series PV modules.
20.47% efficiency for multicrystalline cell
Soon after the report of job cut, REC announced that its multicrystalline solar cells manufactured in the Singapore facility achieved a best conversion efficiency of 20.47%.
The significant efficiency improvement was brought up by upgrading the wafer to cell process. REC claimed that it has achieved an average conversion efficiency of 20.21% and the best of 20.47% for this technology. Furthermore, the process developments would be applied to REC’s production lines at the beginning of November 2016 to the soonest.
"This great achievement is a strong testament to our R&D efforts at each step in the value chain,” noted O’Neil in a PV Tech’s report.