Shell Solar Restructures and Cuts 170 Jobs

October 29, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Shell Solar (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) announced that it will lay off 170 workers in the Netherlands and Germany as the company restructures its position in the global solar photovoltaic market. Global production capacity of photovoltaics increased from 400MW in 2001 to 760MW in 2002, but the downturn in demand and "substantial overcapacity" has affected all companies, including Shell Solar.

"We believe that restructuring is essential to build a commercially viable solar business in the long term," stated Executive Vice President Philippe de Renzy Martin. "The photovoltaic market faces a glut in supply and in these conditions we believe the way to maintain a competitive edge is to focus on our leading position in technology development and our sales and marketing operations."

The company's photovoltaic operations will be consolidated in Camarillo and Vancouver in the US, at Gelsenkirchen in Germany, and at Evora in Portugal. Closing the solar cell and panel manufacturing facility in Helmond, the Netherlands, will lay off 150 workers, and 20 from closing a module manufacturing facility in Munich.