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China Daily Website

Solar industry may reshuffle upon US punitive duties

Updated: 2012-05-26 17:17
( Xinhua)

NANCHANG - An executive of LDK Solar, one of the world's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) enterprises, said Friday that the antidumping ruling against Chinese PV makers, if upheld by the United States, would force the entire industry in China to reorganize.

Peng Xiaofeng, chairman and chief executive officer of the company based in Xinyu, Jiangxi province, said the anti-dumping ruling could cause Chinese solar PV companies' exports of solar panels and other related products to drop by 15 percent, putting the entire industry in a tougher situation.

The US Commerce Department announced its affirmative preliminary determinations in antidumping duties on Chinese PV cells, whether or not assembled into modules, on May 16 local time.

The ruling, if upheld in the second review, will impose levies of 31 percent to 250 percent on Chinese producers and exporters.

China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that the United States provided its renewable energy companies with unfair government grants that are prohibited under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

China lodged a trade complaint to the WTO on Friday against US countervailing duties on 22 products, including new energy products, according to a statement issued by China's Permanent Mission to WTO.

"It's undoubtedly a challenge for us, and a reshuffle is expected among China's solar PV companies in the near future," said Peng.

He said the overcapacity of domestic PV products and the economic downturn among European countries have already affected the Chinese companies' development.

According to data released by LDK Solar in late April, the company lost $589 million in the fourth quarter of last year, and its total debt reached $6 billion, with its debt ratio up to 87.7 percent, the highest since 2006.

The company delayed an expansion project planned for last year and has cut over 8,000 employees, or 30 percent of its total workforce, since last July, according to Peng.

However, he remained confident about the industry's prospects.

"As the world faces an energy crisis in the long run, clean solar power will replace traditional energy resources to help solve the global energy shortage and improve the environment," he said.