21 September 2012
Elkem Solar announced that, due to the difficult market conditions in the solar market, the company will temporarily stop production in Kristiansand, Norway.
Elkem Solar produced silicon using an energy saving production method. The company was operating at a yearly capacity of 6000 tons and employed 225 people. Employees at the Elkem Solar plant in Kristiansand will be affected by temporary layoffs.
"I understand that this may cause concern among our employees, but Elkem Solar in Kristiansand will continue to play an important role in the solar industry. There is a large overcapacity in the solar sector and the market is in a phase of consolidation, adjusting production to demand. The market for solar power will continue to grow in the future and Elkem Solar has a technology that provides us with a significant competitive advantage over other manufacturers. We will therefore be in a stronger position than our competitors when the market recovers,” says Trond Sæterstad, Senior Vice President Elkem Solar.
Senior employee representative Terje Hanssen at the Fiskaa Labour Union says that employee representatives are working closely with management to find good solutions for as many employees as possible through this period.
Parts of the organization will implement important improvement projects at Elkem Solar in the period of production stoppage. “In this way we strengthen our competitive position for the future,” says Sæterstad.
Elkem Solar was recently mentioned in the blog on Solar Novus Today, "Norway's Role in the Global Solar Market".