MUNICH (Reuters) - German industrial conglomerate Siemens
Confirming a report in German newspaper Handelsblatt, a spokesman for Siemens said the group would close Solel by early next year. The Israeli business has accumulated losses of around 1 billion euros ($1.33 billion) since Siemens bought it in 2009, including a write-off of the entire purchase price.
Siemens has spent seven months trying to sell Solel, which makes components used in solar-thermal power stations. Some 280 employees will be affected by the closure, most of them in Israel.
The cost will run into the mid-double digit millions of euros, according to Siemens.
Once a promising new field with strong growth rates, the solar energy industry is in sharp decline in Germany as Chinese manufacturers flood the global market with cheaper panels and components.
Several smaller German companies are struggling to survive the onslaught.
Industrial giant Siemens has already closed down its photovoltaic inverter business and pulled out of the Desertec solar energy project.
Its fellow conglomerate Bosch
($1 = 0.7496 euros)
(Reporting by Jens Hack; additional reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)