3 August 2022
Manz terminates negotiations with Chinese partner on completion of CIGSfab solar project
Equipment maker Manz AG of Reutlingen, Germany – which has three Solar, Electronics and Energy Storage strategic business units, and supplies integrated production lines for copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells and modules – is terminating negotiations with its Chinese customer Chongqing Shenhua Thin Film Solar Technology Co Ltd after no agreement could be reached on completion of the large-scale solar project CIGSfab. Manz is hence making a related non-cash impairment of €23.2m on a contractual asset.
Since 2017, Manz had been working on the major project for the Chinese partner with a planned total order volume of about €218m, which was interrupted in December 2020 at the customer’s request. By the end of 2020, Manz had received payments of about €175m, but had already provided services with a total value of €198m. As already described in detail in the Annual Report 2021 as well as the Annual General Meeting 2022, Manz’s managing board had previously assumed that the customer would fulfill the associated contractually outstanding payments. Contrary to expectations, however, it has not been possible to reach a mutual solution between the contractual parties to date. Therefore, Manz is now pursuing the goal of asserting its claims through the courts.
Due to the impact on earnings development resulting from the decision and against the backdrop of the unexpectedly strong increase in raw material and energy costs, a changed project mix, ongoing challenges in global supply chains, and increased economic uncertainties among Manz’s customers, Manz’s managing board is adjusting its forecast for the 2022 fiscal year (to be announced on 4 August, together with key financial figures for first-half 2022).
“We will now consistently focus our efforts on the implementation of our growth strategy in the automotive & electro-mobility, battery manufacturing, electronics, energy, and medical technology industries,” says CEO Martin Drasch. “Accordingly, we are not undertaking any further technological developments in CIGS thin-film solar technology and have discontinued market development. In the e-mobility market in particular, we have established a strong position as a high-tech equipment manufacturer to benefit from the immense market potential.” Manz says that it has recently been able to use this momentum to its advantage and convince numerous international customers with its years of experience in developing innovative production concepts and solutions.