TrendForce reported both increase in production of polysilicon and significantly lowering of the production cost of polysilicon for solar pv cell production.
TrendForce said in October, the Japanese firm Tokuyama began producing polysilicon at its Malaysia plant, which has a capacity of 13,800 metric tons. Initially, Tokuyama is expected to reach 70% capacity. The South Korean polysilicon manufacturer OCI is also to increase capacity to 10,000 metric tons. Hanwha Chemical, another South Korean firm, will add 3,000 to 5,000 metric tons of production capacity, according to TrendForce.
SunEdison and Samsung Fine Chemicals have formed a joint venture to produce polysilicon using low cost process called high pressure fluidized bed reactor process (HP-FBR) at Ulsan, South Korea and will increase polysilicon production from 10,000 metric tons to 13,500 metric tons. FBR is a fairly new polysilicon process through which polysilicon is deposited when monosilane gas mixes with silicon seed particles in a reactor, in a continuous process. It is an alternative to the dominant electricity-intensive Siemens method, which has been the industry standard for decades. “The FBR production method is a breakthrough for the solar industry,” said Angus Kao, a research manager at EnergyTrend, adding that FBR is expected to reduce the cost of modules significantly in 2016 to 0.4/W and 0.5/W.
TrendForce also reported China-based GGL to use the FBR production method to boost its production capacity to 25,000 metric tons next year. Other Chinese manufacturers will increase their respective production capacities to 20,000 metric tons, as per TrendForce.