Asbeck: US ruling means normality

Frank Asbeck, the chief executive of German PV manufacturer SolarWorld, told Recharge the US solar market can resume "normal competition" after the American government's decision to slap preliminary duties on Chinese PV modules that use Taiwan-made cells.

Speaking at the Intersolar industry fair in Munich today, the SolarWorld boss applauded the preliminary ruling by the US government, delivered on Tuesday.

"We wanted to close the loophole that had opened if a wafer was brought to Taiwan, and reworked there to create a module again that would have escaped justified anti-dumping measures," Asbeck said.

"This loophole has now been closed and we welcome that."

The US government has set the anti-dumping duty for Chinese modules with Taiwanese cells at 26.9% for most suppliers, with a lower levy for Trina Solar and a higher duty for Wuxi Suntech – undercutting the significant cost advantage that most Chinese companies currently enjoy.

SolarWorld, which has large production facilities in Oregon, had long lobbied to extend already existing anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese module makers to those who use the Taiwanese cell loophole.

The company now hopes to be able to compete better in the key US PV market."We think that we will return to normal competition conditions," Asbeck said.

"The American market will continue to grow steadily. The share of Chinese modules certainly will go down. But that's a process we have already been observing anyway."

The CEO added that the European Commission is also looking into loopholes in Europe from EU-set minimum prices for Chinese PV kit, such as special promotional tariffs or late-delivery rebates granted by some Chinese suppliers.