IN DEPTH: Behind the REC split

An REC Solar worker at the company’s Singapore plant

An REC Solar worker at the company’s Singapore plant

Long before “vertical integration” became a catchphrase among PV manufacturers, Norway’s REC Group was an extreme practitioner — with an in-house supply chain stretching from polysilicon to modules.

But as polysilicon prices crashed back to Earth and the group’s losses piled up in recent years, it became clear that the case for REC’s model was on the verge of collapse.

Last summer, the company announced the most radical decision in its two-decade history — to split itself into two independent entities. The move highlights the powerful and complex changes under way across the PV manufacturing sector.

But after years as a beacon of vertical integration, can it really be the case that two companies are better than one?

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