Asia Silicon to expand its polysilicon capacity by 30,000 tons

Groundbreaking for Asia Silicon’s polysilicon plant expansion in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, China
Asia Silicon will expand the capacity of its polysilicon plant in Xining from 20,000 to 50,000 tons by 2022 – Image: Qinghai News Network

Asia Silicon, China’s sixth-largest polysilicon manufacturer, has announced it will increase its polysilicon production capacity by 30,000 metric tons (MT). The company’s plant, which is located in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, currently has an annual capacity of 20,000 MT.

The expansion project is the first of two phases with a total capacity of 60,000 MT and an investment of CNY5 billion (US$722 million). It was launched at a “mobilization meeting” on August 17. Asia Silicon did not reveal any details on the construction schedule, but competitor Daqo New Energy assumes the new capacity will come on stream in 2022.

Asia Silicon said the quality of the material from the new project would be electronic grade for integrated circuits; however, the Chinese standard for electronic-grade polysilicon is not comparable to the requirements of semiconductor manufacturers outside China.

Following the project launch, Longi Green Energy Technology, a long-term customer of Asia Silicon and the world’s largest producer of monocrystalline solar wafers, signed a new five-year purchase agreement with Asia Silicon on August 18. The contract comprises the delivery of 124,800 MT and will run from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2025.

Asia Silicon’s project is part of a new expansion wave of the Chinese polysilicon industry in response to increasing demand and tight supply. In March Tongwei announced two new polysilicon production facilities with a total capacity of 75,000 MT. Daqo said at the presentation of its second-quarter results on August 18 that its Phase 4B project with a capacity of 35,000 MT has already been approved; the company wants to float its Xinjiang subsidiary on the Shanghai Stock Exchange “as soon as possible” to fund the expansion.

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