After polysilicon plant shutdown, OCI narrows its operating loss
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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