New Saudi attempt to produce all from polysilicon to solar panels

Representatives of Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Clusters Development Program, Saudi Basic Industries Corp., OCI Company and Longi Group shake hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding
SABIC, OCI and Longi have started a feasibility study for a solar/carbon black production complex in Saudi Arabia – Image: argaam.com

Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with chemical conglomerate Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), South Korea’s OCI Company and China’s Longi Group to develop an integrated solar and carbon black production complex in the country.

The envisaged $2 billion complex would cover the complete PV value chain from polysilicon through to solar modules and also produce carbon black. Tariq Bakhsh, vice president at NICDP, said: “We plan to complete the feasibility study in the next six months, and maybe by the end of the year we will be identifying the shape and legal and financial structure of the project.”

OCI manufactures both polysilicon and carbon black while Longi covers the PV value chain from monocrystalline silicon ingots through to solar modules.

The only Saudi polysilicon manufacturer so far, Polysilicon Technology Company, shut down production in late 2016.

In October 2018 SABIC signed an MoU with German Schmid Group for establishing a joint venture dedicated to “advanced silicon material” and Schmid’s redox flow energy storage technology.

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