Saturday, March 8, 2008

Some thoughts about the polysilicon production expansion in China

PV industry is one of the most promising industry in the 21 century, and too many Chinese companies are trying to catch this golden development opportunity. While the production of polysilicon is the most lucrative sector in the PV industry chain, so there are too many polysilicon production projects in China already, and many more are planned.

It is said that the total production capacity of all the polysilicon project (existing, under construction and planned) is over 90,000 tons already, and by the end of 2010 the total production capacity of all the completed project will be much over 60,000 tons.

Most of these polysilicon companies do not have any polysilicon production experience before, and some of them obtained the improved Siemens chemical process technologies from Russia and some are developing their own production technologies, while at present the advanced polysilicon production technologies are owned by US, German and Japanese companies, and these companies are not willing to transfer their technologies to Chinese companies. The technology from Russia consumes more electricity power, and the production cost is higher. It is very hard to develop Chinese own polysilicon production technology, polysilicon production requires a complex system, and in 2007 the total polysilicon production output in China is just about 1000 tons. Some Chinese polysilicon companies claimed that they had made progress in developing polysilicon production technology, even low cost polysilicon production technology, but none of these new entries are able to produce polysilicon in volume at present, and we always hear news that some polysilicon project is delayed also.

It is hard to predict the polysilicon production output in China since we do not know when the companies are able to produce in volume and how much they can produce. I sincerely hope these Chinese companies may make breakthrough in the production technology, then the solar electricity cost will be cut down greatly, and it is the golden time for the PV industry to grow and we can adopt much cheaper solar electricity.

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