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Suntech Power closes Arizona factory

Suntech Power, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels, has closed its factory in Goodyear, Ariz. The news comes amid a report in the New York Times today that the company is cash-poor and may be taken over partially or entirely.

The closing of the plant means 43 jobs will be lost. The factory workers put aluminum frames and electrical junction boxes on solar cells imported from China, so that the fully assembled solar panels would qualify for “Buy American” programs, the Times said.

The newspaper said the takeover of the company may be done by the municipal government’s holding company, Wuxi Guolian, in its hometown of Wuxi, China. Wuxi is a large industrial city located 120 kilometers, or 70 miles, northwest of Shanghai.

Suntech, according to the Times article, has an obligation to pay more than $541 million to holders of convertible bonds at the end of this week.
In 2011, Suntech was reportedly the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels by gigawatts, before trade penalties and financial problems forced cutbacks.

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