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Ferrotec to Cut 800 Jobs, Restructure Solar Silicon Business

Ferrotec Corp., a Japanese maker of electronic components, plans to cut about 800 jobs across the company as it restructures its solar product business.

Ferrotec will stop making and selling silicon ingots, wafers and cells used for solar panels under its own brand, the Tokyo-based manufacturer said today in a statement. It will produce them for other companies.

Ferrotec and its peers have grappled with lower prices for panels as Chinese producers flood the market, economies stagnate and governments curb subsidies for renewable energy. The oversupply has contributed to losses for the Japanese company, which revised its half-year earnings forecast today.

“The business environment for the solar-panel market has deteriorated rapidly since the second half of last year,” the company said in the statement. “We made plans to restructure through mainly reducing the size of our business.”

Ferrotec will close a plant in the U.S. state of Oregon that makes crucibles, devices used to produce silicon ingots, said spokesman Takanori Hirose, who couldn’t immediately comment on how many jobs there will be affected. Company executives will also take a pay cut of as much as 50 percent for the nine months through June, according to the statement.

Ferrotec expects to report a net loss of 6.2 billion yen ($77.2 million) for the six months through September, having previously forecast a loss of 650 million yen.

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