Sandvika, May 25, 2009: REC Wafer has decided to temporarily take out approximately 35 percent of its production capacity due to a challenging market situation and low demand visibility. The temporary reduction will affect approximately 180 employees. REC Wafer continuously evaluates the market situation and will prepare for a fast start-up process when the market outlook becomes more predictable.
"We have seen an increasingly difficult market so far this year and need to take measures to optimize our capacity utilization and secure flexibility in regards to timing of product deliveries. Although we temporarily take out a part of our capacity, we follow the market development closely and are making sure that we stay prepared to increase production on short notice," says Ingelise Arntsen, EVP Wafer.
As the timing of a restart is yet undecided, REC Wafer is presently not prepared to indicate the expected effect of the temporary reduction in capacity utilization on the overall annual production of wafers in 2009.
While it also is too early to quantify the financial consequences for REC Wafer, it should be noted that continued production at full capacity would have required external purchases of polysilicon at spot prices that are higher than the price levels in the long-term polysilicon supply contracts. As previously communicated, REC Silicon's polysilicon production is expected to increase when commercial production from the new Silicon III resumes in the third quarter 2009.
For more information, please contact;
Jon Andre Løkke, SVP & IRO; +47 907 44 949
REC is uniquely positioned as one of the most integrated companies in the solar energy industry. REC Silicon and REC Wafer are among the world's largest producers of polysilicon and wafers for solar applications. REC Solar produces solar cells and solar modules and engage in project development activities in selected segments of the PV market. REC Group had revenues in 2008 of NOK 8,191 million and an operating profit of NOK 2,529 million. Please also see www.recgroup.com