First Solar puts off commissioning Vietnam factory

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First Solar, a major producer of solar panels, Thursday announced plans to consolidate its manufacturing facilities and delay the completion of a module factory in Vietnam.

"The company will postpone commissioning of its Vietnam factory until global supply and demand dynamics support the additional capacity," it said in a statement, adding that the development of its factory in Mesa, Arizona will continue.

The US$300-million plant in Ho Chi Minh City was originally scheduled for commercial production in the second half of 2012. The factory was expected to play a key role in First Solar's plan to nearly double its capacity by 2012 and further reduce the cost of solar electricity.

Commenting on the new consolidation plan, Mike Ahearn, Chairman and interim CEO of First Solar, said it will help the company balance production with market demand.

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