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Major China Solar Panel Maker Goes Bankrupt

From CNN’s Money.com:

Major Chinese solar company goes bankrupt

By Charles Riley | March 21, 2013

HONG KONG (CNNMoney) — Turn out the lights. China’s Suntech Power has put its largest subsidiary into bankruptcy, a casualty of rampant oversupply in the solar industry and punishing sanctions levied on Chinese panel producers.

The bankruptcy filing, made in Jiangsu Province, marks the end of a long downward spiral for Suntech’s Wuxi subsidiary, once a darling of the solar industry and one of the world’s largest panel producers.

Declining prices for solar products and global trade spats have taken a toll on the nascent solar industry in recent years, leading to the failure of several firms heavily dependent on government support.

Parent company Suntech Power (STP), listed on the New York Stock Exchange, will not file for bankruptcy. But the company’s share price is now trading around 60 cents, down from $50 in 2008. Wuxi accounts for about half Suntech’s 20,000 employees.

A group of eight Chinese banks petitioned a court in Jiangsu Province on Wednesday in an effort to push Wuxi Suntech into bankruptcy, and the subsidiary said it would not object.

Last week, the company missed a payment on $541 million in debt, and the company’s CEO said he was exploring strategic alternatives. According to state-run news agency Xinhua, the company owes nine creditor banks a total of $1.2 billion.

Oh, is that all.

Suntech announced last week it was closing a manufacturing center in Goodyear, Arizona, costing 43 workers their jobs…

China’s solar manufacturers maintain close ties to the state, and have been hammered in recent years as demand for solar panels has lagged far behind supply. Yet they continued to receive favorable treatment from the government in the form of bank loans…

Gee, just like in our country.

The U.S. Commerce Department announced stiff tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels last year, after finding that Chinese solar cell manufacturers were "dumping" their products on the American market below production costs…

Er, since they had a (token) manufacturing plant in Arizona, these sanctions would not have hurt Suntech. In fact, they probably got money from the US taxpayers for their efforts.

But nice try, CNN.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, March 21st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Major China Solar Panel Maker Goes Bankrupt”

  1. Right of the People

    “a casualty of rampant oversupply in the solar industry”

    I guess this means the solar industry has maxed out? Everyone who wants solar power has it already????

    I bet Suntech will switch to making battery packs for Chevy Volts, now that’s a burgeoning industry!

  2. mr_bill

    Colar makers are going bankrupt at high speed. Spain bailed out of it’s heavily subsidized solar collection enterprise. I wonder what the next “green energy” fad will be and how much it will cost us citizens to line the pockets of some frothing liberal greenies.

  3. canary

    That’s okay. Our US Federal government will bail them out buy their panels since our own plants have gone bankrupt.

    First China’s high speed rails and now their Solar Panels, yet the US federal government continues follow China’s mistakes.

    I saw a documentary that was unbelievable of the actual building of towns with new high rises and shopping malls that stand empty. I’ve never seen anything like it. Shocking.


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