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SunPower restructures, closes Philippine plant

Posted: 18 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar panel? plant closure? manufacturing?

According to SunPower Corp., it will take a charge of between $51 million and $69 million associated with a plant closure in the Philippines. The solar panel maker said it made a strategic decision to close its Fab 1 and merge its manufacturing operations into its Fab 2, also in the Philippinesaiming to cut operating expenses by as much as 10 percent this year.

"This decision will enable us to rationalize our operating expenses, improve supply chain efficiency and lower our manufacturing cost per watt through scale advantages," stated Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. "The reduction of approximately 125MW of nameplate capacity at Fab 1 will be partially offset by further improvement in yields and equipment efficiency in Fab 2 and Fab 3."

Werner said reducing the company's manufacturing costs and extending it technology advantage remains a top priority for the company. SunPower now has two lines running under a new manufacturing process, which reduces manufacturing steps by 15 percent, and expects to have all 12 of its lines on this process by the end of this year, Werner added.

SunPower said it is working with chip packaging technology provider Deca Technologies Inc. and others on using its Fab 1. Employees at Fab 1 will be transferred to Fab 2 or have the opportunity to work for Deca and other potential Fab 1 tenants, the company said. SunPower will transfer some equipment from Fab 1 to Fab 2 to reduce manufacturing constraints, the company continued.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times





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