Sharp to halt UK module plant

Japanese electronics giant Sharp is to end PV module production in North Wales, UK.

The plant at Wrexham will cease producing modules in February, the company said, with up to 250 jobs under threat.

As recently as September this year, Sharp was hailing the fact that the 400MW plant was operating at near full capacity.

The company now says the Wrexham factory has this year mostly been shipping modules back to the booming Japanese market, but was uncompetitive locally.

Sharp said: "Market conditions in Europe have become increasingly severe over the past eighteen months. A 30% drop in the unit price of European solar panels since the beginning of 2012 has left Wrexham's output uncompetitive here in the UK, and in Europe."

In addition to the Wales plant, Sharp is part-owner of the 3Sun joint venture, which owns a module factory in Sicily.