GCL to expand FBR polysilicon capacity to 54,000 tons in 2021

Representatives of GCL-Poly Energy Holdings and its subsidiary Jiangsu Zhongneng celebrate the official launch of the 54,000-ton fluidized bed reactor (FBR) project for granular polysilicon in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, China on September 8, 2020
GCL-Poly celebrated the official launch of its 54,000-ton FBR expansion project in Xuzhou on September 8 – Image: solarbe.com

After a technological breakthrough in 2019 ended years of trial and error, Chinese polysilicon manufacturer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings thinks big with fluidized bed reactor (FBR) technology now: GCL’s subsidiary Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon will increase its monosilane-fed FBR capacity for granular polysilicon to 54,000 metric tons (MT) by the end of 2021. As Chinese media report, the company officially launched the expansion project in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province on September 8.

In the announcement of it its first-half 2020 results, GCL-Poly said that Jiangsu Zhongneng’s production capacity for granular polysilicon was 6,000 MT at the end of June. The output amounted to 2,442 MT in the first half, equivalent to an annualized volume of roughly 4,900 MT. Jiangsu Zhongneng’s nominal capacity for conventional polysilicon rods produced with the Siemens process was reduced from 70,000 MT to 36,000 MT.

According to the media reports, the FBR capacity in Xuzhou is already 9,000 MT now. GCL is aiming to increase it to 30,000 MT by June 2021 and to 54,000 MT by the end of 2021. In typically Chinese manner, the expansion was declared as only the first phase of a 100,000 MT project with a total investment of CNY4.7 billion (approx. US$688 million or $6.88/kg).

GCL claims that its polysilicon granules fully meet the requirements for pulling monocrystalline silicon ingots out of the melt and are better suited for refeeding the crucible. In March 2017 the company acquired the FBR technology and Continuous Czochralski (CCz) crystal-pulling process from insolvent U.S. company SunEdison.

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