Tue, Jul 09, 2019 - Page 12 News List

UREC to cut jobs, lease idled fabs

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

United Renewable Energy Co Ltd (UREC, 聯合再生) plans to trim an unspecified number of solar manufacturing jobs and lease idled fabs in an effort to accelerate its transformation into a total solution provider for solar energy.

Over the past 10 months, UREC has made some progress in becoming a supplier of own-brand solar modules and solar systems, it said yesterday, adding that it would no longer solely focus on manufacturing solar cells.

“The revenue streams from solar modules and solar systems have helped drive aggregated revenue significantly,” the Hsinchu-based company said in a statement.

First-quarter revenue from solar systems increased 231 percent year-on-year, as the company’s gross losses improved 55 percent, it said.

As it continues its transformation, the company said it plans to cut more solar cell manufacturing jobs, while raising more cash by leasing idled fabs.

“We have sent a plan for streamlining our workforce to the Hsinchu labor authority,” a member of the company’s public relations staff told the Taipei Times by telephone.

The unnamed staff member declined to disclose how many jobs would be axed, saying only that UREC would transfer affected employees to other divisions, or help them find new jobs elsewhere.

According to the company’s Feb. 28 annual report, UREC employs 2,810 workers.

The company said it aims to complete the latest restructuring by the end of this year.

Separately, UREC’s board of directors yesterday voted to issue 150 million new shares for existing shareholders to repay debts.

UREC reported that revenue last month increased 32 percent to NT$1.39 billion (US$44.56 million) from NT$1.06 billion a year earlier, but declined 39 percent from NT$2.29 billion in May.

The firm attributed the monthly decline to a delay in solar system installations in Taiwan due to rain.

In the first half of the year, cumulative revenue reached NT$10 billion, an increase of 86.7 percent from NT$5.36 billion last year, company data showed.

UREC expects the installation of solar modules and solar systems to contribute a larger revenue share in the coming months, as it is building up its solar module inventory for several large-scale installations to be completed before December.

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