Solarworld AG, Germany’s biggest solar-panel maker, expects an anti-dumping case to start against Chinese competitors in Europe this month after the German government said it may support such a move.
While Solarworld hasn’t filed a complaint with the European Commission, individual European Union member states or the commission itself could initiate proceedings, Solarworld Chief Executive Officer Frank Asbeck said today.
“I’m confident that one of the three options will be taken this half,” Asbeck said by telephone, referring to the period through June. “We then expect timely proceedings so that we could see first results in the spring.”
The comments highlight growing tensions between European and U.S. governments and the Chinese state over its aid for renewable-energy companies. Solarworld said in May it wanted to bring an antidumping complaint in Europe after action in the U.S. led to the imposition of duties on shipments from China.
Germany may initiate proceedings, the WirtschaftsWoche magazine said yesterday, citing an interview with Environment Minister Peter Altmaier. At least five domestic solar companies, including Q-Cells SE, have filed for insolvency since December after a glut of Chinese products flooded the global market.
The U.S. Commerce Department on May 17 imposed preliminary antidumping duties of 31 percent to 250 percent on Chinese solar manufacturers after ruling they sold products below cost. The decision followed complaints from the industry led by Solarworld’s U.S. unit.