Polysilicon maker GCL Technology Holdings has announced plans to invest CNY 7.2 billion ($1.13 billion) in new silicon materials as part of a planned joint venture with TCL Technology Group Corp.
GCL Tech, which recently rebranded from its former name of GCL-Poly, said it will hold 60% of a CNY 9 billion venture to source 100,000 tons of granular silicon and to carry out downstream R&D. It will hold the same stake in a separate, CNY 3 billion operation related to a 10,000-ton electronic-grade polysilicon project, with both projects to be based in Honhot, in China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
TCL Tech will hold the balance of both operations. GCL Tech announced that its parent, energy company Golden Concord Group, will also be involved in a silicon development framework agreement, along with the Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor business, of which TCL Tech is the biggest shareholder.
The latest capacity expansion bid was explained by the publication this week of first-quarter figures which showed GCL Tech recorded three-month revenue of CNY 6.99 billion. Its profit for shareholders hit CNY 3.03 billion in the January-March window, up from a CNY 2.41 billion profit banked from CNY 8.78 billion of revenue in the first six months of last year.
Some CNY 6.68 billion of that latest revenue figure came from the manufacturer’s solar materials business unit, in which GCL’s new energy-efficient granular silicon made a significant contribution to a three-month gross profit margin figure of 46%. That performance was helped by the fact that the granular product’s margin was consistently 15 percentage points better than that of the company’s traditional rod silicon, according to GCL.
GCL Tech said it produced 18,628 tons of polysilicon in the first three months of the year, as well as 11.6 GW of solar wafers. The manufacturer said it had rod silicon annual production capacity of 45,000 tons at the end of last month, versus 30,000 tons of granular capacity, and was able to manufacture 50 GW worth of wafers per year.
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