Taiwan’s Powertec to produce 27,500 MT of polysilicon annually

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The technology and equipment will be used towards Powertec’s phase 2 and 3 polysilicon expansion projects. The Taiwanese company is expected to begin ordering GTAT’s equipment in 2H 2014. No financial details were disclosed.

The first phase of Powertec’s polysilicon plans, which started in 2011 in Taiwan’s Changbin Industrial Park, are scheduled to begin commercial operation in 1H 2014, after the 6,000 MTA polysilicon production technology and equipment, also acquired from GTAT for US$93.9 million, was successfully shipped in 2012. Originally, production was expected to begin last year.

"Powertec’s phase 1 project is on track for commercial operation in the first half of 2014 in line with when the solar industry, which has experienced a downturn since 2011, is expected to recover," said the company in a statement released.

Once the plant is fully operational, Powertec plans to "immediately" begin debottlenecking work, in order to increase capacity to 7,500 MTA. Chairman YiYi Tai added, "We expect to produce high-quality polysilicon at a cash cost that will enable us to successfully compete on a global scale."

Overall, Powertec aims to ramp capacity up to 27,500 MTA. Work on the second and third phases is scheduled to begin "immediately" after phase one is completed next year.

"There is strong demand in Taiwan from leading Taiwan semiconductor companies such as UMC and SAS for ultra high-quality electronic-grade polysilicon," continued the statement. "Powertec’s phase 1 high-quality capacity as well as phase 2 and 3 electronic grade capacity are expected to meet not only future solar demand, but also domestic semiconductor industry demand in Taiwan."

Powertec was established in 2010. WalsinLihwa Group, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), and Sino American Silicon Products Inc. (SAS) are the major shareholders.