Suntech cuts solar cell production capacity

Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd, the world's largest solar panel maker, said it temporarily shut a portion of its solar cell production capacity in China, as it grapples with weak selling prices and import duties in the United States.

Suntech's operational solar cell capacity will temporarily be reduced to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) from about 2.4 GW.

The cut at the Wuxi facility is expected to affect about 1,500 employees in China. Most of these employees would be offered positions at other production facilities but some would face severance, Suntech said.

Suntech said it is on track to reduce recurring operating costs by 20 percent in 2012.

The company last month estimated weak margins for the second quarter and cut its full-year shipment outlook.

Another solar equipment manufacturer, China's LDK Solar Co Ltd, reported on Monday a much bigger loss, downgraded its sales forecasts and said it was in talks with potential investors.

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