AGC shuts Belgium PV glass plant

Japan's Asahi Glass will close a photovoltaic cover glass plant in Belgium in response to declining global prices for patterned glass.

Group unit AGC Glass Europe decided last week to shutter the factory in Roux, Belgium.

"Operating losses at the site are unavoidable" because falling prices in the PV cover glass market have contributed to overcapacity in the sector, Asahi Glass said in an online statement.

The Tokyo-based company expects to record roughly ¥4.7bn ($46.4m) in expenses related to the plant closure.

A spokesperson tells Recharge that the company has not decided what to do with the 190 people who work at the Roux plant, but said that some of them may be transferred to other Asahi Glass factories in Europe.

Asahi Glass says its new 225W Lightjoule solar panels are roughly 50% lighter than most PV modules because of its cover glass. It says the panels are mainly designed for rooftop installations.