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Slump in solar module market, headcount slashed by First Solar

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First Solar Kulim Kedah

Bosch PV factory in Penang may be another LGE project stucks on the drawing board.

First Solar Cuts 2,000 Jobs and Closes Plant in Major Restructuring Effort

Company accelerates its plan to exit the subsidized European market and focus on utility-scale projects.

By Jonathan Katz Solar module manufacturer First Solar Inc. (IW 500/274) will cut 2,000 jobs and close a plant in Germany in response to falling demand in Europe, the company said Tuesday.

The restructuring is the second the company has announced in the past year as it seeks ways to remain competitive while many European nations cut renewable-energy subsidies.

The move will reduce the company’s total workforce by about 30% and result in the closing of its Frankfurt, Germany, plant. The Tempe-Ariz.-based company will also indefinitely idle four of its 24 production lines at its manufacturing center in Kulim, Malaysia.