Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技) has cut its workforce by less than 2 percent as the solar wafer maker grapples with stagnant demand and price declines.

“To brace for continuing gloomy industry prospects, the company has to enhance its competitiveness by retaining skilled employees and letting workers with poor performances go,” Green Energy spokesperson Christine Chen (陳婷婷) said by telephone yesterday. “It is largely an annual [workforce] adjustment this time.”

About 20 to 30 employees are affected, Chen said.

According to the company’s annual report, it has a total workforce of 1,900 at its factories in Taoyuan and Kaohsiung, so the affected employees represent about 1.5 percent of the workforce.

However, Chen rejected a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily that Green Energy has downgraded its female executives as part of its cost-cutting moves.

“The report is untrue. We support gender equality,” Chen said.

Green Energy earlier this year launched a streamlining program to strengthen operational efficiency and reduce costs to help it ride out the latest industry downturn.

The company lost NT$1 billion (US$32.99 million) last year for a sixth straight year in the red.

Solar companies are facing growing pressure from price drops due to weaker-than-expected demand, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday, adding that the price decrease is to extend into next month thanks to high inventories.