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Evergreen Solar CEO Explains Move To China

BOSTON (CBS) - The Marlboro company that is moving most of its manufacturing to China is explaining why it has made that choice.

In a financial report, Evergreen Solar spells out in dollars and cents that the cost of the solar panels the company makes in Massachusetts were actually sold for a loss.

Evergreen says the manufacturing cost was $1.92 per watt, while the selling price was $1.90 per watt.

In an earlier interview with Evergreen Solar, CEO Michael El-Hillow talked about the challenge, telling WBZ News, "We want to stay fully employed in the US but unfortunately we can't do that if we have to sell the product for a loss. And right now, we have to sell the product for a loss."

El-Hillow says manufacturers in China have received massive government grants and loans to inexpensively ramp up production while keeping costs down. Evergreen will now focus on supplying low-cost solar wafers, a component in photovoltaic panels.

Evergreen is closing a $400 million dollar plant in Devens and eliminating about 800 jobs in Massachusetts after receiving about $31 million in state aid, tax cuts and other support.

Here's Anthony Silva's interview with Evergreen Solar CEO El-Hillow:


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