News on solar grade

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 Daqo, Wacker, OCI and REC Silicon from Q1 2021 through Q1 2022

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While Chinese polysilicon manufacturer Daqo was able to stabilize its profit margin in the first quarter, non-Chinese competitors Wacker and OCI saw their earnings decline in the wake of rising costs.

Polysilicon plant of OCI in Bintulu, a coastal city in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia

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Polysilicon manufacturer OCI is getting closer to a decision to increase the capacity of its plant in Malaysia by 30,000 to 40,000 tons. In 2024 the plant would then have a total capacity of 65,000 to 75,000 tons.

Polysilicon EBITDA margins of Daqo, Wacker, OCI and REC Silicon from Q3 2020 through Q3 2021

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Polysilicon manufacturers Daqo, Wacker and OCI compensate the price spike of silicon metal feedstock and still increase their high margins, driven by strong demand in the third quarter.

Arabinda Ghosh (left), designated Chairman and CEO of Hemlock Semiconductor, and Ken Collins, site leader of Wacker Chemical Corporation’s polysilicon and pyrogenic silica plants in Charleston, Tennessee

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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.

Polysilicon EBITDA margins of Daqo, OCI, Wacker and REC Silicon from Q2 2020 through Q2 2021

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While non-Chinese polysilicon manufacturers OCI and Wacker enjoy high margins, Xinjiang-based Daqo New Energy has already announced the next major expansion to 270,000 tons in China by the end of 2024.

Price changes in the solar value chain (polysilicon, wafer, cell, module) in the first quarter of 2021

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In the first quarter, the spot price for solar-grade polysilicon soared by nearly 50% – from US$11 to more than $16 per kg. Solar cell manufacturers played a key role in the price rally.

Polysilicon plant of OCI in Bintulu, a coastal city in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia

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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.

Hemlock Semiconductor’s polysilicon plant in Hemlock, Michigan (USA)

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U.S.-based polysilicon manufacturer Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation will lay off 50 employees, the company announced internally on June 18.

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In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S.-based polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon has deferred the sale of its electronic-grade plant in Butte. Its solar-grade plant in Moses Lake remains closed.

Sales, EBITDA and Capex of Wacker’s polysilicon division in Q1 2020 versus Q4 2019 and Q1 2019

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In response to slumping demand for solar-grade polysilicon in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, chemicals group Wacker has reduced the utilization rate of its German polysilicon plants to 70%.