Suniva, starter of trade battle, seeks new life

Source: David Ferris, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, June 18, 2018

Suniva Inc., the solar manufacturer at the center of a divisive trade battle, might return to business after its biggest creditor managed to maneuver its assets out of bankruptcy.

That creditor, SQN Capital Management, announced yesterday that it had acquired the licenses, intellectual property and equipment of Suniva, and “plans are in process to restart operations as soon as possible.”

Last year, Suniva and SQN created upheaval in the solar industry when they requested that the Trump administration impose worldwide tariffs on imported solar cells and modules in order to protect a handful of domestic manufacturers from cut-price Asian imports. The issue sparked furious debate over protection of manufacturing versus protection of jobs in the solar industry, which employs over 200,000 people, mostly outside manufacturing.

The long-shot effort succeeded in January when Trump announced four years of tariffs.

In May, SQN got permission from a bankruptcy judge to auction off the Suniva assets it controlled (Energywire, May 4). Yesterday’s announcement makes clear that SQN itself bought the property that it put up for sale.