The top 10 posts from Bernreuter Research on LinkedIn in 2021

The ten most popular posts from Bernreuter Research on LinkedIn in 2021
Chinese new entrants and GCL’s FBR plant are most popular among our top ten posts on LinkedIn in 2021 – Image: Bernreuter Research

News articles about non-Chinese polysilicon manufacturers – OCI, Wacker and Hemlock Semiconductor – are prominent among the ten most popular posts from Bernreuter Research on LinkedIn in 2021.

Background on OCI’s polysilicon plant in Malaysia even made it twice into the top rankings – once about alleged expansion considerations (Number 8), the other time about the company’s dependency on customer Longi (No. 3). The leadership changes at Hemlock Semiconductor and Wacker Polysilicon in the United States were also of high interest (No. 5).

The top themes, however, were determined by Chinese players. Our critical piece on the wave of new entrants into the Chinese polysilicon industry attracted the highest number of clicks, reactions, shares and comments, followed by our update on GCL-Poly’s expansion of fluidized bed reactor capacity for granular polysilicon. It is not surprising that analysis of the polysilicon shortage (No. 4) and of the polysilicon spot price rally (No. 7) also attracted much attention.

This time we have decided against ranking our most popular posts on LinkedIn by the weighted engagement rate (the sum of clicks, reactions, shares and comments, divided by the number of impressions and then weighted by the absolute amount of engagement for the respective post); instead, we have opted for taking the absolute amount of engagement as a single criterion. Here is the complete list of our top ten posts:

10. What the U.S. ban on Hoshine Silicon means for the PV industry (June 25)

The Withhold Release Order of the U.S. customs against Xinjiang-based silicon metal producer Hoshine puts pressure on polysilicon manufacturers as most of them are sourcing from Hoshine.

9. A Turning Point for the Polysilicon Industry (May 12)

The world’s four largest polysilicon manufacturers in 2022 will all be based in China, predicts Bernreuter Research. The polysilicon industry expert has published its latest ranking of the top ten producers on its website.

8. OCI mulling expansion of polysilicon capacity by 60,000 tons (May 31)

South Korean chemicals group OCI is considering expanding the capacity of its polysilicon plant in Malaysia to 95,000 tons, possibly fueled by demand for polysilicon untainted by forced labor in Xinjiang.

7. Has the polysilicon spot price rally reached its peak now? (June 10)

After the polysilicon spot price has skyrocketed by almost 160% from US$11/kg in early 2021 to $28.50/kg now, there are first signs that the price rally will slow down.

6. Hanwha invests in REC Silicon – “First step to US value chain” (Nov. 18)

The US$160 million investment of Hanwha Solutions, the world’s sixth largest solar module supplier, in U.S. polysilicon maker REC Silicon only makes sense with new wafer production capacity.

5. New leadership at U.S. polysilicon makers Wacker and Hemlock (Sep. 30)

Ken Collins is new site leader of Wacker’s polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee while Arabinda Ghosh will follow Mark Bassett as CEO of competitor Hemlock Semiconductor at year’s end.

4. What’s behind solar’s polysilicon shortage – and why it’s not getting better anytime soon (Oct. 7)

One of the main ingredients in PV cells has been getting more costly all year, putting developers in a tight spot. (Article of Canary Media)

3. OCI’s polysilicon business mainly depends on customer Longi (Feb. 10)

OCI’s Malaysian polysilicon subsidiary has signed a three-year supply contract with Longi, the world’s largest solar wafer maker. The volume of 77,700 tons will fill OCI’s production capacity for the most part.

2. Expansion of GCL-Poly’s granular polysilicon capacity delayed (Oct. 26)

Jiangsu Zhongneng, a subsidiary of GCL-Poly, is behind schedule with expanding its fluidized bed reactor capacity for granular polysilicon in Xuzhou, but the existing plant is running at full speed.

1. New polysilicon entrants in China: Nothing learnt from the past (July 15)

The current polysilicon shortage has triggered so many new Chinese projects with a total capacity of more than one million tons that the industry will again face oversupply in the coming years.

Thank you for your interest in 2021. We wish you a peaceful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year. Let’s endure in the fight against Covid-19 and not forget the climate crisis. Take care and stay safe!

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