Solar

Germany’s Sunfilm goes insolvent

German PV module maker Sunfilm has filed for insolvency citing current conditions and uncertainty regarding the government’s feed-in tariff, but it hopes the move will position it to find help from a new investor.

April 5, 2010 – German PV module maker Sunfilm has filed for insolvency citing current conditions and uncertainty regarding the government’s feed-in tariff, but it hopes the move will position it to find help from a new investor.

Current investors “have stopped their financial support,” and the company is “in discussions” with lenders, the company says. Three hundred employees have been working reduced hours since the end of 2009 — that’s three-quarters of the company’s 400-strong workforce it boasted when it finalized its merger with Sontor in July 2009, which also widened its capacity to 146MWp (between two sites, Bitterfeld-Wolfen and Grossroehrsdorf).

“By filing for insolvency we are aiming for a strategic realignment of the company with a new investor,” said Sunfilm chairman Wolfgang Heinze. Attorney Rainer M. Bähr has been appointed as temporary insolvency administrator.

SunFab certified its thin-film tandem-junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) line Grossroehrsdorf, Germany in April 2009 and ramped to volume production in June 2009, citing efficiencies of up to 8%. But the company was at the center of a spat between AMAT and PV tool rival Oerlikon — in May of last year the EU Patent Office invalidated a patent from the U. of Neuchatel related to amorphous silicon PV technology licensed to Oerlikon, and the crux of a suit against Sunfilm (and other module makers).