The top 10 posts from Bernreuter Research on LinkedIn in 2022

The ten most popular posts from Bernreuter Research on LinkedIn in 2022
An accident at East Hope and the polysilicon price drop were our most popular topics on LinkedIn in 2022 – Image: Bernreuter Research

“Bad news is good news” – this saying was unfortunately true again for the most asked for post from Bernreuter Research on LinkedIn in 2022: Our article on the accident at East Hope’s polysilicon plant in Xinjiang in northwestern China received the most clicks, reactions, comments and reposts in sum. The story, which we broke exclusively in the English-speaking world, draw the most attention with a large lead.

The second place is occupied by our assessment of the polysilicon price drop that started in late November. Background information on the increasing dominance of Chinese polysilicon manufacturers was also very popular – covered both in our ranking of the world’s top ten producers (Number 3) and in a story of Chemical & Engineering News (No. 5).

Against the backdrop of Chinese dominance, news about activities of non-Chinese players continue to be of high interest – such as the expansion plans of OCI in Malaysia (No. 4), the investment of Hemlock Semiconductor in the United States (No. 7) and the top-level management changes at REC Silicon (No. 6 and 9).

As last year, we have ranked our most popular posts on LinkedIn by the absolute amount of engagement (the sum of clicks, reactions, comments and reposts); this time, however, we have also included the scope of engagement with the commenting repost of the respective topic by company head Johannes Bernreuter. Here is the complete list of our top ten posts:

10. Solar market braces for new US trade restriction on China (June 20)

On June 21 the U.S. Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act comes into effect, banning products from Xinjiang. We regard the narrative of “chaos” that some observers invoke for the solar supply chain as exaggerated.

9. REC Silicon appoints new CFO (Oct. 10)

With the installment of Hanwha manager Jeong Ryul Yun as new CFO of REC Silicon, Hanwha Group now has a big foot in the door of the polysilicon maker although it only owns a minority share of 33% in REC Silicon.

8. Asian polysilicon producers outperform western competition (Nov. 17)

Why did China-based polysilicon manufacturer Daqo New Energy perform excellently in the third quarter, despite a declining EBITDA margin? And why did OCI outperform Wacker? Read the answer.

7. Potential $375M investment coming to Hemlock Semiconductor (Sep. 12)

Hemlock Semiconductor will invest $375 million in order to “improve and expand our operations.” Bernreuter Research estimates this could mean an additional electronic-grade polysilicon capacity of up to 5,000 tons and refurbishing an idle solar-grade capacity of up to 10,000 tons.

6. REC Silicon appoints new CEO (Sep. 28)

Kurt Levens, general manager of electronic-grade polysilicon and silicon gases and member of the leadership team at REC Silicon since 2005, becomes the company’s new CEO, succeeding interim CEO James A. May II.

5. China controls over three-quarters of the solar supply chain (Sep. 19)

This article from Chemical & Engineering News is worth reading – a comprehensive overview of the current state of affairs in the polysilicon industry and the solar supply chain.

4. OCI planning to expand its polysilicon capacity by 35,000 tons (Feb. 8)

Demand for polysilicon untainted by forced labor in Xinjiang and suited to make high-efficiency, n-type solar cells will likely support a major capacity expansion of OCI in Malaysia in 2024.

3. Tongwei and GCL are the new market leaders (Apr. 27)

In 2019 Wacker was still the world’s largest polysilicon manufacturer. Now it is further losing ground against the dominant Chinese competition.

2. The long awaited decline of the polysilicon spot price has now set in (Nov. 30)

The long awaited decline of the polysilicon spot price has now set in. For the time being, however, this will only be the usual seasonal drop at year-end. As to forecasts of a stronger decrease, we remain cautious for the first half of 2023.

1. Fire halts polysilicon production at East Hope for one month (June 28)

Almost exactly two years ago, two accidents occurred at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang in northwestern China. Now there is another one, and again at a Xinjiang-based manufacturer.

Thank you for your interest in 2022. We wish you a peaceful holiday season and a happy, healthy New Year.

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