AU Optronics unit to pull out of solar poly business

Share

A unit of global OEM manufacturer AU Optronics is to halt production of polysilicon for the solar industry and focus instead on the less competitive ingot market.

M.Setek, which is based in Tokyo, issued a statement via AU Optronics that said the company no longer had a “competitive advantage” in operating in the solar polysilicon industry and is set to take a hit of $208 million to write down its assets, according to Bloomberg.

Changes in polysilicon supply and demand patterns have left M. Setek disadvantaged. Poly prices have fallen by more than 80% over the past five years as bigger players have entered into the solar industry to feed the insatiable demand for polysilicon. The effect has been a lowering of prices that has served to squeeze out some of the smaller players.

Data compiled by Bloomberg shows that M.Setek is no longer in the top ten makers of polysilicon, and will now focus exclusively on the production of ingots for the solar industry. The sector is now largely dominated by a handful of bigger producers, including Germany’s Wacker Chemie, U.S. company Hemlock Semiconductor, Hong Kong’s GCL Poly and South Korea’s OCI.

"No volume polysilicon production by AU Optronics was tracked during the past couple of years, so this announcement is not surprising," Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analyst Wang Xiaoting said.

The analyst added that the polysilicon industry in 2015 was bedeviled by more than 20% oversupply, "which was the intrinsic reason for a 30% drop of spot price over the year." The glut overhang is expected to continue throughout 2016.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.

Popular content

SunPower stock crashes 70%

19 July 2024 The company’s share price fell below $1 as it announced it is halting some operations and ending its lease and power purchase agreement offerings, amo...

Share

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.