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MEMC cuts 20% of workforce

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc will reduce its workforce by 1300 – or 20% – in response to difficult market conditions in the solar and semiconductor sectors.

By Kari Williamson

MEMC, which owns SunEdison, will also adjust its production capacity and accelerate operating cost reductions.

The Merano, Italy, polysilicon facility will be “idled” and faces the prospect of being closed “unless dramatic feedstock, power and other cost reductions are achieved in the near term,” MEMC says. Futhermore, MEMC will reduce capacity at its Portland, Oregon, crystal facility and limit the ram-up of the Kuching, Malaysia, wafering facility to 300 MW.

“We believe these actions strengthen MEMC in the near term and positions us for more profitable growth and our core business – semiconductor wafers and solar energy systems,” says Ahmad Chatila, CEO of MEMC.

“Changed market conditions require that we improve productivity across all segments and in solar move to a more balanced manufacturing model aligned with our downstream business. We are moving quickly in these carefully considered actions and expect increased cash flow during the next year. Going forward, we remain committed to our tradition of providing advanced technology and superior services to our global semiconductor and solar customers.”

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity