SAN FRANCISCO—SunPower Corp., a maker of solar panels, will take a charge of between $51 million and $69 million associated with a plant closure announced the company said Monday (April 16).
SunPower (San Jose, Calif.) said it made a strategic decision to close its Fab 1 in the Philippines and consolidate its manufacturing operations into its Fab 2, also in the Philippines.
SunPower said in November it would restructure operations with a goal of reducing operating expenses by as much as 10 percent in 2012.
"This decision will enable us to rationalize our operating expenses, improve supply chain efficiency and lower our manufacturing cost per watt through scale advantages," Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO, said in a statement. "The reduction of approximately 125 megawatts of nameplate capacity at Fab 1 will be partially offset by further improvement in yields and equipment efficiency in Fab 2 and Fab 3."
Werner said reducing the company's manufacturing costs and extending it technology advantage remains a top priority for the company. The company now has two lines running under a new manufacturing process, which reduces manufacturing steps by 15 percent, and expects to have all 12 of its lines on this process by the end of this year, Werner said.
SunPower said it is working with chip packaging technology provider Deca Technologies Inc. and others on using its Fab 1. SunPower is a minority shareholder in Deca Technologies, an electronic interconnect solutions provider that initially offers wafer level chip scale packaging services to the semiconductor industry.
Employees at Fab 1 will be transferred to Fab 2 or have the opportunity to work for Deca and other potential Fab 1 tenants, the company said. SunPower will transfer some equipment from Fab 1 to Fab 2 to reduce manufacturing constraints, the company said.