German chemical company Wacker was the largest polysilicon producer in 2016, according to market research company Bernreuter Research. Wacker produced over 70,000 MT last year, thus slightly surpassing the Chinese manufacturer Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon, whose production output reached 69,345 MT.
Wacker’s rise was primarily due to the commissioning of the its new polysilicon manufacturing facility in Tennessee, United States. This has increased the company’s annual production capacity by 20,000 MT to 80,000 MT. According to Bernreuter Research, all of Wacker’s polysilicon production is based on the Siemens process. Only a semi-commercial plant at the company’s facility in Burghausen, southern Germany, is using the fluidized bed-reactor (FBR) technology.
Last year’s largest producer, Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon, which is a unit of Chinese solar manufacturer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd., has tried to expand the capacity of its Siemens-based production, which currently stands at 76,000 MT, with the construction of a new 25,000 MT FBR factory. The project, however, is experienced technical problems, Bernreuter Research reports.
U.S. manufacturer Hemlock Semiconductor, which was the largest producer from 1994 to 2011, obtained fourth position after OCI. Hemlock, however, is suffering under the duties that China introduced on polysilicon imports from the USA in 2013, which “have diminished the accessible market for the company considerably.”
Wacker was the largest polysilicon manufacturer in 2012 and the second largest in 2013. “Wacker will remain the number one for at least a few years, until GCL-Poly manages to establish new Siemens reactor capacity in Xinjiang,” said Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research.
By Carl Johannes Muth
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: email@example.com.
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.