Devens Manufacturing Plant Closing, 800 Affected

DEVENS (CBS) — The company Evergreen Solar is closing its manufacturing facility in Devens. There are approximately 800 people who work at that facility.

The facility will be completely closed by the end of March. The company has not said whether the employees will be laid off.

The company’s president and chief executive officer Michael El-Hillow explained that although production costs have gone down at the Devens facility, they are still much higher than competitors in China.

“We have consistently stated during quarterly conference calls throughout 2010 that we would continue to manufacture in Devens as long as it was economically feasible,” he said in a written statement. “During the month of December, we experienced a 10% decrease in average selling prices from the beginning of the fourth quarter. As industry selling prices continue their rapid declines into 2011, panel manufacturing in Devens, either fully or partially, is no longer economically feasible, consequently requiring a complete shutdown of the facility.”

Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development responded to the news by saying he was disappointed to hear of the closing. He said the company has worked hard to live up to its commitments to the state.

“We will be actively working to recover any and all dollars owed to the Commonwealth through the clawback provisions of state grants, which require repayment if job commitments are not met,” the Secretary added.

The company will continue to operate plants in Michigan and China. It develops, manufactures and markets alternative energy products.


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