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Polysilicon Companies with Small Capacities go Bust/Stop Production of Solar Raw Material (Timminco,Hoku,MEMC,PV Crystalox)

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Smaller Polysilicon producers with small sizes and higher costs are going bust almost everyday.With poly prices falling below $30/kg even bigger producers with inefficient plants like MEMC have been forced to curtain capacity.The smaller poly producers with 2000-3000 tons capacity have virtually no future.With poly expansion still  taking place by big producers even in an oversupplied market the small fish are having the capitulate.

A Number of small wafer producers got into backward integration of producing polysilicon in 2008 when prices were 10 times as they are now.However these small capacities were not feasible and most of these small plants will have to close down.The bigger companies like GCL,OCI will surive and thrive given their scale and low costs.This should increase consolidation in the industry and in the future poly prices should again increase though currently they look quite bleak.

The smaller poly producers which have gone bust,are facing difficulties or closed down capacity

1) PV Crystalox

2) Timminco

Silicon metal producer Timminco Limited TIM-T is filing for bankruptcy protection from creditors while it restructures under the federal Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.Timminco said Tuesday it made the move because the company’s financial position had deteriorated and it is finding it increasingly difficult to raise money.

3) Hoku

Hoku Corp.    is fighting a termination notice from Idaho Power Co.    that threatens to cut the power to its Pocatello polysilicon plant next week unless the Honolulu company pays its $1.9 million electricity bill.

The company has until Jan. 3 before Idaho Power will cut power to the plant, which eventually will make the materials that go into solar panels but has yet to become fully operational. Hoku (Nasdaq: HOKU) began receiving permanent power at the plant in mid-November.


There are also reports that a number of high cost Chinese small producers of poly have also closed down their polysilicon plants as well.

Polysilicon Price Boom and Bust

The Solar Crystalline Silicon Industry accounts for almost 85-90% of all the Solar Energy Capacity installed globally and is growing at a rapid rate.Polysilicon which is the main raw material for the industry has been the focus of the industry over the last 2-3 years.The reason was the sharp run up in Poly Prices in 2008 to $400/kg despite costing just $30/kg.The rapid increase in the Solar Module Industry had caught the poly producers by surprise as it normally takes 2-3 years for a Poly Plant to come online.This had led downstream producers with a secure cheap supply of polysilicon as the kings of the market.New Business Models  based on low or no polysilicon usage were invested in.However the 2009 Crash brought down the price to $50/kg killing many of the companies.Polysilicon prices are expected to come down in the future as more polysilicon plants are built to meet the massively growing demand for Silicon Cells.

Read more about the list of major polysilicon producers in the world

Also read about polysilicon manufacturing technology.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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