Tue, Sep 18, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Motech to cut at least 300 contract jobs

INDUSTRY SLUMP:The workforce reduction started when the company shut down a solar wafer production line in June — affecting 160 employees — to stem losses

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Motech Industries Inc (茂迪) yesterday said it plans to eliminate more than 300 contract jobs soon to reduce costs and would not rule out cutting full-time positions, as the solar cell maker struggles to ride out a severe slump in the industry.

The workforce reduction started when Motech shut down a solar wafer production line in June — affecting 160 employees — to stem losses, as market demand weakened when solar installations in China began to slow in June.

“To quickly respond to market changes, the company will adjust personnel based on customer orders and required production capacity. The company’s goal is to streamline operations,” Tainan-based Motech said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

Motech plans to scale down operations to improve competitiveness and financial performance in a depressed market, the company said.

“Foreign contract employees will be affected by the workforce adjustment, as they mostly supplement existing personnel,” it said.

Shares in Motech plunged 1.87 percent to NT$9.45 in Taipei trading yesterday after the company disclosed the job cuts.

The company reported that cumulative losses in the first half of the year widened to NT$3.14 billion (US$101.93 million), or NT$5.84 per share, compared with losses of NT$1.7 billion in the same period last year.

Motech has been in the red since 2014.

TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) yesterday forecast Taiwan’s solar installation market would expand at an annual compound growth rate of 303 percent to 4 gigawatts by 2025, with an estimated 850 to 920 megawatts installed this year.

Strong growth is expected on the back of the government’s green energy policy, which encourages the installation of solar panels on the roofs of farm buildings and in fallow fields.

Neo Solar Power Energy Corp (新日光能源) became the nation’s biggest solar module supplier by module capacity in the first half of the year, outranking AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), TrendForce added.

Newly established Taiwan Solar Energy Corp (元晶太陽能) and Taiwan Solar Module Manufacturing Co (TSMMC, 台灣太陽能模組製造) are expected to rank second and third respectively in the second half of the year thanks to increased production, while AUO should fall to fourth place, TrendForce said.

TSMMC, a joint venture between Motech and Giga Solar Materials Corp (碩禾), was formed in April.

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