BP cuts 620 jobs from its solar business

LONDON, April 1 Wed Apr 1, 2009 12:38pm EDT

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - BP (BP.L) on Wednesday said it would cut 620 jobs from its solar power business and that two plants in Spain and part of a plant in the U.S. would be shut as it looks to reduce costs at its renewable energy division.

BP said two assembly plants near Madrid, Spain, would be shut with the loss of 480 jobs, while the module assembly section of its Frederick facility in Maryland, U.S. would also close down with a further 140 redundancies.

"The job cuts reflect the cost of operating solar manufacturing in the more industrialised nations," a BP spokesman said.

BP, whose Solar business employs 2,200 people worldwide, did not give a timescale for the closures.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) last month said it would cut back investments in green energy and had no plans to make large investments in wind or solar energy in the future. [ID:nLH256178]

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace said the job cuts represented "a huge leap backwards" and that the move showed BP "couldn't care about climate change". (Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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