Leading solar panel maker Wuxi Suntech, a major subsidiary of Suntech Power based in the east China city of Wuxi, declared bankruptcy on March 20, 2012, according to the Xinhua news service in China. Suntech Power is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.
The eleven year old company stated a $2.3 billion debt and global over capacity of photovoltaic panels as major causes of the bankruptcy that was accepted by the Wuxi City Intermediate People's Court. Increasing raw material costs, failure of thin film technology to blossom as predicted, and punitive duties levied by the United States and Europe were also cited as causes of the bankruptcy filing. A $541 million bond payment default on U. S. bonds in March 2013 made Suntech the first mainland China company to default on U. S. bonds.
The reelection of President Barack Obama was predicted to be beneficial to Suntech Power and other photovoltaic companies.
The Chinese government may intervene in this financial problem to prevent the loss o 10,000 jobs. Hong Kong banks and United States banks are the resources cited for capital necessary for the reorganization of Wuxi Suntech.
Suntech Power was originally designed to remove China from dependence on foreign sources of solar energy. The bankruptcy may mean more business for U. S. based solar energy companies as China plans to forge ahead with solar energy reaching a 6 gigawatt capacity in 2013.
The bankruptcy of Suntech Power could be viewed as the first major casualty in the U. S. versus China green energy war.