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.

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%.

REC Silicon’s fluidized bed reactor polysilicon plant in Moses Lake, Washington at dusk

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As the Phase 1 trade agreement between the USA and China comes into force on February 15, U.S.-based polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon intends to restart its plant in Moses Lake.

Polysilicon EBITDA and Operating Margins of OCI and Wacker from Q1 2018 through Q4 2019

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The Korean polysilicon manufacturer OCI abandons a market volume of 50,000 tons despite a competitive electricity rate for its plant in Malaysia. Johannes Bernreuter, Head of Bernreuter Research, comments on the decision.

OCI’s polysilicon plant in Gunsan, South Korea

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The price pressure from low-cost Chinese plants forces OCI, the world’s third-largest polysilicon manufacturer, to stop producing solar-grade polysilicon at its factory in Gunsan, South Korea.

China’s market shares in global production capacity along the PV value chain (solar-grade polysilicon, solar ingot, solar wafer, solar cell, solar module)

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Expecting a decrease in demand in view of the shrinking market outside China, Wacker is planning to cut the 650-strong workforce of its U.S. polysilicon plant by 20 employees or around 3%.

Polysilicon EBITDA margins of OCI, Wacker and REC Silicon from Q3 2017 through Q3 2018

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After the EBITDA margin of its basic chemicals division, which includes polysilicon, tumbled to minus 2.0% in the third quarter of 2018, South Korean OCI mulls shifting part of its polysilicon capacity to semiconductor applications.

OCI’s expansion plan for polysilicon production capacity

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Korean polysilicon producer OCI will revamp the dormant PS-1 plant of its Malaysian subsidiary by the end of 2018, thus expanding its annual production capacity by 10,000 metric tons.

REC Silicon’s silane/polysilicon plant in Butte, Montana

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U.S.-based manufacturer REC Silicon has curtailed production of solar-grade polysilicon at its facility in Butte, Montana and will focus on electronic grade for the semiconductor industry there.