Suntech Reduces Production at Arizona Factory
GOODYEAR, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2012
GOODYEAR, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Suntech Power Holdings Co.,
Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest producer of solar panels, will stop two
of three production shifts and reduce its workforce at its Goodyear, Arizona,
solar panel manufacturing facility. The slowdown in production is due to
global oversupply and higher production costs related to recent import tariffs
imposed by the U.S. government.
The Goodyear facility's annual production throughput will decrease from about
45MW to 15MW, and roughly fifty positions will be eliminated. The decision is
in line with Suntech's global restructuring efforts to right-size production
capacity and reduce operating expenses by 20% in 2012 and 2013.
"We will continue to produce solar panels in Arizona to meet the needs of our
customers, particularly those who are willing to pay a premium for
U.S.-manufactured products," said E.L. "Mick" McDaniel, Managing Director of
Suntech America. "Our employees in Goodyear have done a tremendous job,
however all PV manufacturers globally are facing challenging market and
political conditions, and rationalizing production is necessary to maintain a
competitive cost structure."
On November 7th, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted to impose
unilateral tariffs of 35.97% on Suntech solar cells produced in China. Solar
cells are a key component used at Suntech's Goodyear production facility. The
rising costs of components like solar cells increases the costs of
manufacturing solar panels in the U.S. Tariffs on solar cells come in addition
to tariffs imposed by the U.S. government in 2011 on aluminum frames, another
key input for solar panel manufacturing.
"Subsequent to our decision to invest in Arizona, unnecessary upstream trade
barriers have made it difficult and more costly to manufacture solar panels in
the U.S. In addition, these new tariffs limit our ability to utilize Suntech's
advanced solar cell technology imported from China," added Mr. McDaniel. "We
will continue to assess our options and if the political and business
environment improves, we may reconsider expanding our manufacturing operations
in the U.S."
Suntech's Goodyear, Arizona, manufacturing facility features highly-automated
manufacturing and product testing equipment and currently produces Suntech's
300-watt solar panels for commercial and utility-scale electricity generation.
All solar panels produced at the facility are backed by an industry-leading,
25-year power output warranty and are compliant for procurement in American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Buy American Act projects.
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
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 Suntech's ability to right-size production capacity; reduce
operating expenses by 20% in 2012 and 2013; and ability to maintain a
competitive cost structure. 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.
For further information, please contact
Tel: +1 (415) 268-8881
SOURCE Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
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