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Media Center / News archive / 2017 / Growth of polysilicon prices promises crisis to producers of solar arrays

During the last for months, the polysilicon prices grew by 35 per cent, the German PV-Magazine states with reference to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Among the basic reasons thereof, the policy of the PRC authorities is regarded in environmental protection which shut “many factories” of the country what resulted in unexpected deficit of raw material for solar modules production.

BNEF points out that the polysilicon prices differ in various regions and the world’s average price in October grew to US$ 15.8 per kilogram: the highest since July, 2016.

The silicon price growth combined with continuing reduction of prices for solar modules lowers the producers’ margin and income thereof. In particular, BNEF gives the example of the Canadian Solar and Hanwha Q-Cells which have already declared a large decline in income. In particular, by results of the third quarter, the net income of Hanwha fell by 88 per cent to US$ 5 M owing to the silicon slab price growth.

Analysts think that the financial results of the Chinese leading producers of solar arrays - JA Solar and Jinko Solar - will also badly decline. Due to the continuing boom of solar energy sector, there simply is lack of polysilicon in China. “If the prices thereof do not decline the producers’ margin does decline”.

Besides, the anti-dumping regulations get in the way of purchasing of cheap raw material by Chinese producers. For already four years in China, high customs duties have been in force for polysilicon imported from the USA and South Korea.

It is hard to suppose how the situation will develop further. Most probably, we should expect growth of polysilicon production in China.

Polycrystal silicon (“polysilicon”) is a material consisting of fine crystals of silicon. It is the basic raw material for production of silicon photoelectric converters (solar cells and modules).

In Kazakhstan, the silicon producer is the Tau-Ken Temir LLP (a subsidiary of the Tau-Ken Samruk National Ore Mining Company). The Tau-Ken Temir LLP is a producer of crystal silicon with the annual production volume of 23,000 tons. The manufacturing facilities of the factory consist of two ore-thermal furnaces with the capacity of 30 MVA each produced by German SMS SIEMAG.

Production of solar arrays in Kazakhstan is localized at the Astana Solar LLP.

The Astana Solar is a link in the chain titled the KazPV: a vertically integrated system in development of photoelectric industry of Kazakhstan. It includes three stages: extraction of raw material in the town of Ushtobe, Almaty Region, where silicon is extracted; afterwards it is transported to the second stage to the city of Oskemen. There, the silicon is refined by way of clarification; then blocks are made and cut into cells – solar cells. After that, the solar cells are transported to Astana, the final stage where assembling of the end product is done: solar modules. Modules of the Astana Solar were used in power supply to the EXPO-2017 International Specialized Exhibition.


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