- The Salten and Lofoten District Court in Norway has issued a liquidation order for NCR
- The company has reportedly been facing financial issues for some time to support its expansion plans
- Last year, it had secured strategic investment from EIT InnoEnergy to expand the 500 MW fab it operates in Glomfjord
In a setback for the European dream of establishing a vertically integrated domestic solar PV manufacturing value chain, Norway-based solar ingot, bricks and wafer start-up Norwegian Crystals (NCR) has filed for bankruptcy.
The Brønnøysund Register Centre, a Norwegian government agency, carries the information of NCR’s liquidation order issued by the Salten and Lofoten District Court.
Operating a 500 MW fab at Glomfjord in Northern Norway, NCR had been targeting expansion of 4 GW by 2025 to an eventual 10 GW in the future. It had also secured a strategic investment from a European Union (EU) body EIT InnoEnergy in September 2022 (see Strategic Collaboration For Over 4 GW European Ingots Production By 2025).
Local media reports refer to a company press release to explain that NCR was looking for a big and immediate capital injection to support its expansion plans, even as a small group of shareholders kept pitching in with finances.
The company had also signed a binding supply agreement with Meyer Burger for its silicon wafers (see Non-Asian Silicon Wafers For Meyer Burger Technology).
In the statement, without mentioning any names, NCR said a promising process started with an international industrial partner to finance and implement the planned capacity increase, but it could not be completed until Q4/2023. In the absence of ‘enough capital’, the management decided to opt for an immediate tender offer.
Swiss technology institute CSEM’s Pierre-Jean Alet wrote on his LinkedIn account that the Norwegian system apparently does not aim at restructuring the insolvent company or group, meaning the company’s assets will now be liquidated.
A few days back, NCR’s CEO Gøran Bye exited the company to join Australia’s mining company Fortescue Future Industries as GM for the Solar Technologies Division (see Gøran Says Bye To Norwegian Crystals).
In an unfortunate coincidence, apparently the building that NCR operates in, previously hosted a solar cell factory of REC that shut down in 2012, following which REC’s subsidiary REC Wafer Norway was declared bankrupt.