After polysilicon plant shutdown, OCI narrows its operating loss

Sales, operating income/loss and EBITDA of OCI’s Basic Chemical division (including polysilicon) from Q1 2019 through Q1 2020
Excluding restructuring costs, OCI’s Basic Chemical division has reduced its operating loss by 61% in the first quarter – Slide: OCI

South Korean chemicals group OCI has seen the first effects of closing its polysilicon factory in Gunsan in February. Excluding restructuring costs of KRW70 billion (US$57.3 million), the company’s Basic Chemical division, which features polysilicon as main product, reduced its operating loss from KRW57 billion (US$46.7 million) in the fourth quarter of 2019 by 61% to KRW22 billion (US$18 million) in the first quarter of 2020.

The factory in Gunsan had a production capacity of 52,000 metric tons (MT). Its P1 plant (6,500 MT) will reopen as scheduled in May to produce electronic-grade polysilicon as OCI does not see demand for semiconductors impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 After ramping up to a capacity of 27,000 MT, the company’s solar-grade polysilicon plant in Malaysia reduced its manufacturing costs by 33% in 2019. It is targeting a further cost reduction by 16% in 2020.

According to OCI, the plant is currently running with minimal staff, but there is “no disruption in plant operation and sales.” The company added: “When demand decreases due to the global spread of Covid-19, OCI will adjust the plant utilization rate and production volume.”

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