The company, which blamed the decision on being unable to compete with cheaper Chinese imports, has filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US.

News pushed the company’s share price, which was a favourite of investors as recently as 2007, down by 57.14% to just $0.18 a share.

The writing was on the wall for the struggling firm earlier this year when it announced revenues for the first quarter of 2011 were down to $35M, a drop of 60% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 when revenues were $89M.

Despite the news the company hopes the Chapter 11 decision will allow it to reorganise and keep trading and developing new technology.

Evergreen Solar’s president and chief executive, Michael El-Hillow, said: “Chapter 11 will provide us with the ability to maximise returns for our stakeholders through the proposed sale process.

“Importantly, we expect to continue our technology development without interruption during Chapter 11 and the sale process.

“Day-to-day operations will go on as usual as employees carry out their responsibilities and we will continue to pay our suppliers and vendors for goods and services received during this period.”

The company will also make 65 redundancies in its United States and European workforce, but its Wuhan China manufacturing business is expected to continue until a buyer is found.

Luke Walsh

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