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Meyer Burger Announces 500 Layoffs at German Photovoltaic Module Facility

Meyer Burger said it plans to lay off 500 people at its photovoltaic module factory in Germany, but some employees may be redeployed within the company. The company says around 400 workers will lose their jobs.


The Swiss company Meyer Burger, a manufacturer of hetero-junction solar modules, has announced the layoff of 500 employees at its plant in Freiberg, Germany. The company first announced plans to close the manufacturing plant in January.


More than 400 people will likely lose their jobs, while the rest will be transferred to other parts of the company. The manufacturer began preparing to close the plant at the end of February and module production has been at a standstill since mid-March, the company told German financial newspaper Handelsblatt .


The company's move probably depends on the recent decision of the German Free Democratic Party (FPD), which is part of the governing coalition, to reject the introduction of a so-called "resilience bonus" in the new "Solarpaket 1" measures that the government is preparing for the photovoltaic sector. The bonus, if implemented, would have represented a strong incentive for photovoltaic producers.


The Green Party expressed regret at the decision.


“The FDP in the federal government is responsible for this blow to industrial policy,” said Saxony's Energy Minister Wolfram Günther. “Temporary support for the solar industry through a resilience bonus could have secured a strategically important industry at a time when China is producing photovoltaic modules sold far below production costs, severely distorting the market.”


Meyer Burger is building a solar cell factory in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a photovoltaic module manufacturing site in Goodyear, Arizona. Both plants are under construction, with a production capacity of 2 GW each.


Before the decision to close the Freiberg plant, Meyer Burger was targeting around 3 GW of new annual production capacity in Germany by the end of 2024, including 1.4 GW of module production capacity in Freiberg.



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