Wednesday, February 20, 2008

LDK Solar's polysilicon production goes fluid

By Mark Osborne
05 February 2008

Having announced very aggressive polysilicon production targets last year, LDK Solar turned heads, while also turning some market/financial analysts bearish on oversupply issues by 2010.
Industry veterans didn't believe that LDK Solar could build and ramp production to the levels stated in the timeframes. Others noted that Chinese companies have a habit of proving others wrong and so those targets could well be in line with what could be achievable.

However, in the case of LDK Solar, the metric ton production targets by the end of 2008 have been fluid to say the least and that's just in the last five months! In September 2007 we reported that LDK expected to reach 7,000 metric tons of polysilicon capacity by the end of 2008, up 1,000 metric tons due to availability of extra furnaces not originally anticipated.

In January we reported that the company expected to reach 350 metric tons in 2008, a massive change from just a short time ago!

Now in February the company is stating that it expects to produce (from a wide guidance range) between 100 metric tons and 350 metrics tons in 2008.

Industry veterans didn't believe LDK Solar last year and, based on the latest company projections, have little faith in the current revised outlook.

Building and ramping a polysilicon plant takes as long as a piece of string! Even the veterans don't really know exactly how long that piece of string is going to be.

Hopefully we now have more realistic projections from LDK, which the financial market will like, customers will like and LDK will eventually like as they will be seen as being able to meet and possibly beat more realistic targets going forward.

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