Due to the difficult market conditions in the solar market, Elkem Solar will stop production in Kristiansand temporarily. Employees at the Elkem Solar plant in Kristiansand will be affected by temporary layoffs.
"I understand that this may cause concern among our employees, but Elkem Solar in Kristiansand will continue to play an important role in the solar industry. There is a large overcapacity in the solar sector and the market is in a phase of consolidation, adjusting production to demand. The market for solar power will continue to grow in the future and Elkem Solar has a technology that provides us with a significant competitive advantage over other manufacturers. We will therefore be in a stronger position than our competitors when the market recovers,” says Trond Sæterstad, Senior Vice President Elkem Solar.
In dialogue with the employees
On Wednesday afternoon, the employees at Elkem Solar were informed that temporary layoffs could not be avoided. The extent of the temporary layoffs will become clear in the next few weeks.
“To minimize the need for temporary layoffs and to maintain the organisation at Elkem Solar to the greatest extent possible, we have established an apparatus for temporary employment positions of Elkem Solar’s employees in Elkem and Bluestar’s units - both in Norway and abroad,” says Sæterstad.
Senior employee representative Terje Hanssen at the Fiskaa Labour Union says that employee representatives are working closely with management to find good solutions for as many employees as possible through this period.
“It was obviously sad to receive the message on the need for temporary layoffs, but we are engaged in a productive dialogue with Elkem Solar’s management and are satisfied with the process so far," says Hanssen.
Further strengthening its competitive position
Parts of the organization will implement important improvement projects at Elkem Solar in the period of production stoppage.
“In this way we strengthen our competitive position for the future,” says Sæterstad.
Facts about Elkem Solar
- Established in 2009. Invested NOK 4.5 bn NOK.
- 225 employees
- Produces Elkem Solar Silicon (ESS ™), a super-pure silicon for solar cells. In the production of ESS ™ only 25 percent of the energy required in the traditional production of solar silicon is used.
- Yearly capacity of 6,000 tons
- Temporarily stops production due to weak market situation
- Employees will be affected by temporary layoffs