Saint-Gobain postpones Spain solar panel investment

Saint-Gobain management announced to trade unions on 22 January 2009 the postponement for six months of the EUR 41 million investment at its Vioo Pielagos factory in Cantabria (northern Spain), for th…

Saint-Gobain management announced to trade unions on 22 January 2009 the postponement for six months of the EUR 41 million investment at its Vioo Pielagos factory in Cantabria (northern Spain), for the construction of a new furnace to produce solar panel glass. According to sources from union UGT on the works committee, this delay also means a delay in the creation of jobs related to the investment, estimated at the time by the company at about 60 direct and 100 indirect. The multinational had planned to start the investment and jobs in January 2009. Now, however, it has decided to wait and see how the market develops. According to the French company, the delay in investment reflects the current market situation, which has seen a fall in sales and loss of government subsidies to build solar panels. The project was presented in August 2009 by the industrial group. It was expected to develop the project in two phases. The first, with an investment of EUR 31 million, was to repair the glass melting furnace. Once in operation, a further EUR 10 million investment would equip the plant to process the glass to go into solar panels. The Vioo plant currently has about 55 employees.