Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Evergreen Shuts Down Massachusetts Solar Facility

Evergreen Solar, Inc. announced its intent to shut down operations at its Devens manufacturing facility by the end of the first quarter of 2011, laying off approximately 800 workers.

This comes two years after opening and receiving $58million in tax payer subsidies from the State of Massachusetts.

Michael El-Hillow, President and Chief Executive Officer, explained that capacity expansions in low-cost regons and cuts in government subsidies in European countries will put pressure on selling prices. He said that the govenment subsidies received by Chinese manufacturers put US manufacturers at a disadvantage.

Evergreen Solar will continue to operate its high temperature filament plant in Midland, Michigan and its wafer facility in Wuhan, China. With approximately 75 megawatts of installed wafer capacity in Wuhan, the Company will continue to supply its outsourcing partner with wafers for conversion into Evergreen Solar branded solar panels.

As a result of the closure of the Devens manufacturing facility, the company expects to incur non-cash charges of approximately $340 million associated with the write-off of existing building, facilities and equipment. Additionally, the company expects to incur approximately $15 million of costs associated with employee severance and out placement services, facility decommissioning and other costs required to close the facility. In addition to eliminating the risks associated with continued manufacturing in a high cost market in a period of rapidly declining prices, the company expects that a complete facility shutdown will help preserve cash and facilitate the company’s pursuit of its wafer strategy.


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