The world’s biggest polysilicon and wafer producer primarily attributed the decline in external sales to ongoing efforts to increase its in-house consumption of the polysilicon it produces to manufacture solar wafers, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. To that end, it revealed plans in early April to invest $826 million in the construction of a 60,000 MT polysilicon production facility in China’s remote Xinjiang region. The new plant will be built in phases that are set to come online between the second quarter of 2018 and 2020. It will include 20,000 MT of output capacity to be shifted from its existing facility in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, and will increase the group’s annual polysilicon capacity from 70,000 MT to 115,000 MT.
GCL-Poly Energy Holdings produced approximately 19,508 MT of polysilicon in the first three months of 2017, up roughly 6.9% year on year. Annual production of polysilicon by volume remained steady in the first quarter at about 70,000 MT by the end of March.
Average selling prices (ASPs) of polysilicon, excluding tax, stood at $17.25/kg in the first quarter, up from $13.96/kg a year earlier. And from this month forward, ASPs will be further supported by Beijing’s renewed efforts to shield domestic producers from foreign price competition. In late April, China’s Ministry of Commerce extended antidumping and anti-subsidy duties on polysilicon imported from the EU, in response to the 18-month extension of the EU duties on Chinese PV modules.
GCL-Poly’s wafer production hit 5.04 GW by volume in the first quarter, up about 19.2% year on year. The group sold 4.9 GW of wafers in the first three months of the year, up 10.6% from the first quarter of 2016. ASPs for its wafers, excluding tax, stood at $0.14/watt by the end of the first quarter, down from $0.19/watt a year earlier. Annual wafer production capacity reached 20 GW at the end of March.
It said it continued to invest in R&D through the first quarter, but did not disclose specific figures. It also said that it plans to announce new products in the second quarter. However, it did not elaborate, saying only that it has been working to quickly align recently acquired assets with its own technology.