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Another nail in the SolarWorld coffin
SolarWorld Industries GmbH has filed to open insolvency proceedings with the District Court of Bonn.
Lawyer Dr. Christoph Niering has been appointed as the provisional insolvency administrator and will together with managing director Frank Asbeck manage the operating business of SolarWorld Industries GmbH, including the four foreign sales companies. The employees in Bonn and the general works council have already been informed about the current situation. Employee meetings and works council meetings have been scheduled at the Arnstadt and Freiberg locations. "For me, it is important that, above all things, the works councils and employees are informed promptly and personally by me" said the provisional insolvency administrator Niering in a press release. "Together with the management, we are trying to maintain the operative business and to find a solution for the two production sites." The insolvency affects 570 employees in Bonn, Freiberg and Arnstadt. Pre-products are manufactured at the Arnstadt site and final assembly of the solar modules takes place at the Freiberg location. The administration and foreign sales activities are controlled via the head office in Bonn. It is worth noting that SolarWorld already filed for insolvency in 2017; a short 8 months ago. Then, the company was delisted and bought by then 'sun king' and Solarworld founder Dr. Frank Asbeck. And in connection to the developments at SolarWorld, competitor JA Solar has issued a statement in rebuttal to the “meritless assertions made by SolarWorld in hearings conducted last year and reported in the USTR findings released March 22, 2018.” JA Solar says that it has not benefited from "economic espionage and theft" to develop its PERC technology as asserted by the statements attributed to SolarWorld in the USTR report. Dr. Wei Shan, CTO of JA Solar said in the statement that: "These allegations on JA Solar are baseless, purely speculation or imagination, erroneous and mistaken if not knowingly false. JA Solar has engaged in hard work and independent research and development of our PERC cell technology, beginning as early as 2009. We view these statements of SolarWorld as meritless and unsupported and firmly believe that such statements will not withstand any level of scrutiny. The substantial investments in the research and development of our technology are solely responsible for our successes."