News on Wacker

News on suppliers, market trends and technology innovations in polysilicon and wafer production is selected, assessed and written for you by Bernreuter Research.

Fire at Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee

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20 months after a severe hydrogen explosion at Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant near Charleston, Tennessee, a fire in the waste water treatment building was extinguished.

OCI’s polysilicon plant in Gunsan, South Korea

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The prospect of rising electricity prices has prompted polysilicon manufacturer OCI to consider shifting production capacity from its South Korean plant in Gunsan to its subsidiary in Malaysia.

Wacker’s integrated chemical factory in Burghausen, Bavaria

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Analysts at Credit Suisse predict that “Wacker will remain a marginal producer of solar grade polysilicon near term and will be squeezed out by low cost Chinese production longer term.”

Polysilicon EBITDA margins of Daqo, OCI, Wacker and REC Silicon from Q4 2017 through Q4 2018

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While China-based polysilicon manufacturer Daqo reported another record low in production costs, the polysilicon division of market leader Wacker slid into the red with its EBITDA in the fourth quarter.

Headquarters of Yingli Green Energy (Yingli Solar) in Baoding, Hebei province

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Cash-strapped Chinese integrated solar module producer Yingli Green Energy has successfully negotiated new terms for its polysilicon long-term contracts with German supplier Wacker Chemie AG.

Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) of China, press conference on February 9, 2017

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The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has terminated duties on polysilicon imports from the European Union. Now U.S. President Trump has asked government staff to draw up a potential deal in the trade conflict with China.

Workers at polysilicon plant in China

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GCL-Poly Energy Holdings and Tongwei Group have announced production capacities that are larger than originally planned for their new polysilicon factories.

Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee

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The EBITDA margin of Wacker’s polysilicon division has become razor-thin: In the third quarter of 2018, the ratio slumped to just 2.5%, down from 16.2% in the previous quarter and 24.9% in the prior year period.

Reopening ceremony for Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee with Dr. Tobias Brandis, Dr. Rudolf Staudigl, Mary Beth Hudson, Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker, and David Wilhoit (from left)

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After investigating the cause of the hydrogen explosion that occurred on September 7, 2017 and repairing the damaged equipment and building, Wacker has restarted production at its U.S. polysilicon plant near Charleston.

Hydrogen explosion at Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee

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According to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a faulty piston in a hydrogen compressor has caused the explosion at Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant.