First Solar To Continue Manufacturing Despite COVID-19

As Coronavirus Spreads, First Solar In Calm Waters; Shares Current Plan To Continue Manufacturing Operations In Ohio, Malaysia & Vietnam
03:25 PM (Beijing Time) - 27. March 2020
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First Solar’s update of manufacturing facilities rolling on, including in Kulim Malaysia (in the picture), unabated comes with a caveat that things can change anytime. (Photo Credit: First Solar, Inc.)

Key Takeaways

  • In a manufacturing update, First Solar says its production facilities in the US, Malaysia and Vietnam continue to operate as of March 26, 2020
  • Government orders to stay at home in Ohio, US and suspension of public activities in Malaysia do not currently apply to its business operations in these locations, as per the company’s ‘understanding’
  • Vietnam facility to continue operating as usual for the time being; however things can change anytime, it warns

American solar module manufacturer First Solar, Inc’s production remains unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak in America or other geographies. As of March 26, 2020, the management says it plans to continue manufacturing operations at its respective production facilities.

At its Perrysburg and Lake Township manufacturing plants in Wood County, Ohio, First Solar said the government’s ‘Stay at home’ order exempts essential businesses and operations and the company’s ‘understanding’ is that its manufacturing facilities in these locations are permitted to operate under the order.

Even for its Kulim, Malaysia operations the management’s ‘understanding’ is that the wide-ranging suspension of public activities by the government do not impact the continuity of its manufacturing operations in the country.

For its Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam facilities, the company says these are not impacted by government-mandated restrictions on movement at this time. “The company is continuing to monitor the situation at all of its facility locations,” it stated and added that the management has already implemented a ‘wide range of measures’ to curb the spread of the virus at its global manufacturing, administrative and other sites and facilities, including those in the United States, Malaysia and Vietnam.

However, the update ends with the caution that the situation may change any time given the severity of the situation. The management added, “First Solar cautions that the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including governmental efforts to contain the spread of the virus, are dynamic and subject to change at any time. This press release reflects information available to First Solar as of 0815hrs (Eastern Time), on March 26, 2020.”

As the company focuses its energies on its manufacturing skills, it announced recently the decision to either sell off the project development business or bring in a partner for the same. First Solar exited 2019 with $114.9 million net loss.

First Solar did not mention in the press release  if it is already seeing any issues on the demand side impacted by the pandemic.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani