Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
«Bouncing back from bankruptcy, Qatar-backed panel maker Solarworld is hitting up the government for support.
Frank Asbeck, the man who has dominated the German solar industry for two decades, refuses to go down without a fight. Having led his once all-conquering Solarworld company into bankruptcy in May, and seen it partly saved by a Qatari rescue package earlier this month, he is now looking for state help to revive his solar empire, Handelsblatt has learned.
Handelsblatt’s sources say Mr. Asbeck has been sounding out political options to get state support for his company. The states of Thuringia and Saxony, where the company’s two factories are based, are willing to offer financial guarantees to the reconstituted Solarworld. No formal application has been made for state assistance in any state, not least because Mr. Asbeck would have to submit a substantial business plan.
For a number of reasons, both national and state politicians will be deeply ambivalent about helping out the irrepressible Mr. Asbeck. First, EU law puts severe restrictions on government money for businesses. Second, he has benefited handsomely from public subsidies in the past. Finally, the fact that a Qatari investor now owns 49 percent of Solarworld is a difficulty»
«The administrator reports a deal is near to save two factories, but only a quarter of the firm’s employees will keep their jobs.
Qatari investors are negotiating to buy two factories belonging to Solarworld, Europe’s largest maker of solar panels, which filed for insolvency a week ago.
According to industry sources, the insolvency’s administrator, Horst Piepenburg, is in talks with the Qatar Foundation, which owns a 29 percent share of Solarworld through Qatar Solar, to acquire the firm’s solar panel factories in Freudenberg in Saxony and Arnstadt in Thuringia. The plan involves acquiring Solarworld’s land, equipment and existing inventory at the two sites.
Mr. Piepenburg said only that he was in intense negotiations with an undisclosed “investor group,” but he declined to identify them. He added that the talks had advanced far enough that the chances of success were greater than failure. The Qataris and Solarworld founder Frank Asbeck declined to comment.»
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«SolarWorld ha ricevuto il premio di sostenibilità tedesca nella categoria della “Produzione più sostenibile del 2008”.» [Fonte]
«The company filed for insolvency of its German subsidiaries alone in May 2017. While subsidiary SolarWorld America was not itself insolvent, it subsequently was put up for sale or other action to help resolve the debts of the German parent company. In the beginning of August 2017, leaving all liabilities behind, all the assets alone were acquired by the original Founder of SolarWorld Ag, Frank Asbeck along with Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) to form SolarWorld Industries GmbH, thus becoming completely debt-free and the only Solar Manufacturer in the world with zero-debt and zero liability»
«On Aug. 18, 2017, however, news came that the German administrator of SolarWorld AG’s bankruptcy had put SolarWorld Americas up for sale, though no potential buyers had been identified at that time. The US-based subsidiary, which reportedly produced half of “SolarWorld” branded modules worldwide, was put “in something of a limbo” by the bankruptcy and a spokesperson stated the company had entered an “open ended” mergers and acquisitions process» [Fonte]
«Germany’s last significant maker of solar panels filed for insolvency for the second time in a year as China gluts the market with dumping prices»
«Solarworld …. is declaring bankruptcy for the second time in a year, and this time it may be curtains»
«The business, launched with such optimism in 1988 as a combination of German manufacturing skill and future-oriented technology, has suffered from a shift in the market, as solar panels, like many other innovations before them, became a commodity»
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Solarworld è stata una delle tante voragini di fondi pubblici immolati sull’altare degli interessi personali dei liberal.
«launched with such optimism in 1988 as a combination of German manufacturing skill and future-oriented technology»
Già. Tutto quell’ottimismo nella tecnologia del futuro è finita in una duplice bancarotta fraudolenta.
Oltre cento miliardi di fondi pubblici erogati una tantum su base ideologica andati in fumo. E perché mai? La risposta è scritta dalla stessa SolarWorld, qui sotto.
→ Handelsblatt. 2018-04-01. Solarworld back in bankruptcy court
Germany’s last significant maker of solar panels filed for insolvency for the second time in a year as China gluts the market with dumping prices.
Solarworld, the erstwhile showcase for the rebirth of East German industry and the country’s last remaining producer of solar panels, is declaring bankruptcy for the second time in a year, and this time it may be curtains.
The business, launched with such optimism in 1988 as a combination of German manufacturing skill and future-oriented technology, has suffered from a shift in the market, as solar panels, like many other innovations before them, became a commodity. At the same time, like other manufacturers in Europe and the US, the company has fallen victim to China’s predatory glutting of the global market with heavily subsidized production and price dumping.
Ironically, it was US President Donald Trump’s January retaliation to this price dumping with a 30-percent tariff on imported solar panels that drove the final nail into Solarworld’s coffin.
The company, or at least its technology, may yet survive in some form, but its demise highlights once again the conundrum posed by China’s effort to dominate technologies that many countries see as essential to their future security. “Without our own production, we would be dependent on China in a few years,” said Andreas Bett, director of Fraunhofer-Institute for solar energy systems.
“Without our own production, we would be dependent on China in a few years.”
Andreas Bett, Fraunhofer Institute
The new bankruptcy filing affects the 600 remaining workers in the Saxon town of Freiberg – down from 1,850 before last year’s insolvency – and a few dozen in the Bonn headquarters. A bankruptcy trustee must now determine whether the prospects for continuing as a restructured business justify aid to keep production running for now. Most experts feel Solarworld is operating in the red and see no turnaround in the near future.
Solarworld and other European manufacturers have banded together to lobby against Chinese dumping through EU ProSun. Currently, the European Union imposes a minimum price for solar panels but more than half the imports circumvent that restriction. “The anti-dumping instrument of the EU has as many holes as Swiss cheese,” a spokesman for EU ProSun said. “There are no checks and there is no political will.”
Solarworld never really got off the ground after August’s restructuring, despite a cash injection from Qatar and financial contributions from firm founder Frank Asbeck. It had a credibility problem after the bankruptcy. Well-connected employees went to the competition. Suppliers demanded prepayment.
Solarworld’s cells are high quality and private homeowners are happy to pay a premium to have them. But commercial solar park operators are much more sensitive to price. While any future as a self-standing company seems out of the question, Solarworld could be bought up by a competitor, perhaps even a Chinese company. Or at least the know-how and modern production facilities in Saxony and Thuringia.
Separately, SMA Solar Technology, a supplier of equipment to the industry, reported a sales decline for 2017, in part because of the US tariffs but also because of price pressures. Sales were €891 million, compared with €947 million in 2016. Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation were down nearly a third to €97 million, while net profit was steady €30 million due to tax breaks on carried-forward losses in China.