EU solar panel makers seek fresh China probe

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2012, 9:33pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2012, 9:33pm

European solar panel makers called for a second probe on Tuesday into imports from China, charging that not only are they dumped on the market but that Chinese firms get unfair government support too.

EU ProSun, which groups European makers, said it had filed an official complaint with the European Commission over alleged illegal subsidies to Chinese firms.

Earlier this month the EU launched an investigation, driven in part by another EU ProSun anti-dumping complaint, that Chinese companies were selling panels in the European market at up to 80 per cent below actual cost.

“Massive subsidies and state intervention have stimulated overcapacity more than 20 times total Chinese consumption and close to double total global demand,” Milan Nitzschke, President of EU ProSun, said in a statement.

Nitzschke said more than 90 per cent of Chinese production had to be exported as a result and the subsidies kept companies afloat even when unprofitable.

“Most Chinese solar companies would have gone bankrupt a long time ago if not for endless government subsidies. Meanwhile over 20 major European solar manufacturers have become insolvent this year alone,” he added.

Earlier this month the EU sparked a very sharp reaction from Beijing when it launched a first probe.

On receipt of a trade complaint, the Commission has 45 days to decide whether to begin an investigation.

A Commission spokesman declined to comment on the EU ProSun statement.