News on incident

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

Polysilicon EBITDA margins of OCI, REC Silicon and Wacker from Q3 2018 through Q3 2019

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Polysilicon makers OCI, REC Silicon and Wacker all landed in red territory in the third quarter. Operating EBITDA margins ranged from -3.4% (OCI) to -9.3% (REC Silicon) to -13.3% (Wacker).

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

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Record-low polysilicon prices and inventory valuation adjustments pushed the operating EBITDA margin of Wacker’s polysilicon division to minus 13.3% in the third quarter.

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 expansion of polysilicon production capacity

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Although South Korean chemicals group OCI benefited from high demand for monocrystalline-grade polysilicon in the fourth quarter of 2018, its basic chemicals division was in red territory for the second quarter in a row.

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. 

Monthly polysilicon imports into China from November 2016 through October 2017

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Polysilicon imports into China dropped considerably from the record high of 17,628 metric tons (MT) in September to 11,153 MT in October.

Charleston residents protest against Wacker’s communication policy after hydrogen explosion at its polysilicon plant

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After a hydrogen explosion has damaged its U.S. polysilicon plant, Wacker expects it will take several months until the plant is restarted. The company’s communication policy has sparked harsh criticism in the local community.

Vapor plume containing traces of hydrochloric acid after explosion at Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee

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Chlorosilane escaped from two leaks after an explosion at Wacker’s polysilicon plant near Charleston, Tennessee (USA) on September 7. Production has been suspended until the cause of the explosion is found.

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

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A release of chemicals at Wacker’s polysilicon plant near Charleston, Tennessee (USA) has caused burns to five workers. They were taken to hospitals.