© saniphoto / dreamstime.com Business | May 03, 2012
Polysilicon industry – Survival of the Fittest
The month of April brought many changes for the global polysilicon industry. According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, the polysilicon industry is becoming increasingly polarized.
With a competitive advantage in terms of capital, cost, and technology, top-tier makers continue to expand capacity while small and medium manufacturers are facing halted production, possibly even bankruptcy. TrendForce believes the polysilicon industry will grow more competitive by the day, illustrating the truth of the old adage “survival of the fittest”. According to TrendForce, Canadian polysilicon and UMG (upgraded metallurgical) silicon manufacturer Timminco declared bankruptcy at the end of April, but German polysilicon giant Wacker Chemie AG has not been daunted by the weak market and continues with its capacity expansion plans. Wacker indicates, their new polysilicon facility in Nünchritz, Germany boasts a capacity of 15,000 metric tons and will begin mass production in Q2 – yearly capacity is expected to reach 52,000 metric tons by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, construction continues on the maker’s new Tennessee plant. The U.S. facility is expected to begin mass production in 2014, which will bring Wacker’s total polysilicon capacity to 70,000 metric tons. Wacker indicates, as clients are demanding higher polysilicon quality standards, the supplier’s capacity is almost completely under contract until the end of 2015. Small and medium polysilicon manufacturers, on the other hand, are focusing mainly on spot market business. As price fluctuates rapidly and makers have hit a bottleneck in terms of cost and technology, they continue to sustain heavy losses – if there is a break in suppliers’ flow of capital, bankruptcy will be inevitable. Industry players indicate, the major polysilicon suppliers are currently focusing on contract sales, as it is more cost advantageous and reduces the risk from price fluctuations. The current contract price trend for first-tier makers falls in the US$25-30 range. TrendForce indicates this price range is optimal for small and medium manufacturers’ costs, but first-tier suppliers still have the flexibility to offer clients lower prices. As for this week’s spot prices, suppliers were unwilling to lower polysilicon price, as quotes are approaching cash cost. Furthermore, due to weakened market demand from China’s May Day holiday, trading volume continues to fall. Downstream makers are reluctant to purchase, as many are conservative towards future industry developments. Thus, prices were low, with average polysilicon spot price at US$22.656/kg, a decrease of 0.53%. As for silicon wafers, as market price has already fallen below manufacturers’ cash cost and orders coming back in have slightly increased, this week’s prices stayed flat – multi-Si wafer price was US$1.076/piece, while mono-Si wafer price was US$1.551/piece. As for downstream solar cells and modules, high-efficiency product demand is relatively stable as orders come in again, in turn stabilizing price in this category. As for standard products, however, although the announcements of plans for power plant have helped demand, price continues to fall. This week’s average solar cell price was $0.462/Watt, a slight 2.53% decrease, while module price was $0.755/Watt, a 3.82% decline.
Mouser opens local customer service center in the Philippines Distributor Mouser Electronics is continuing its expansion of its ts customer service in Asia with the addition of a Customer Service Center in the Philippines.
Perceptron, Coherix cement partnership for bead inspection Michigan industrial metrology developer Perceptron Inc. has announced a commercial partnership with fellow Great Lakes State company Coherix Inc.
Dr. Arne Schneider takes over as CEO of Elmos in 2021 The Supervisory Board of Elmos Semiconductor has decided to extend the appointment of CEO Dr. Anton Mindl until the end of 2020. After this he will have had 15 successful years as CEO and will remain closely associated with the company as consultant.
Magna expands lighting capabilities by acquiring Wipac Czech Magna has agreed to acquire Wipac Czech s.r.o., a automotive lighting engineering firm located in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Sponsored content by Z ElektronikaZ Elektronika opens new factory in Pécs To keep up with rapid growth of the company, on the 13th September Z Elektronika celebrated the grand opening of its new electronic design and manufacturing facility close to the highway in Pécs, Hungary, which adds new features and production site to its nearby location.
Cree, STMicroelectronics fortify SiC agreement Cree Inc. and STMicroelectronics have expanded their existing multi-year, long-term silicon carbide wafer supply agreement to more than USD 500 million.
LPKF expands in Garbsen, Germany The laser specialist has started the construction of a new clean room factory for the production of glass microstructure components at its headquarters in Garbsen, Germany.
Cree, ABB form partnership for SiC technology Silicon carbide technology specialist Cree and ABB’s Power Grids business have announced a partnership to jointly expand the rollout of silicon carbide for semiconductors.
Soitec & Applied Materials to develop next-gen SiC substrates Designer and manufacturer of semiconductor materials, Soitec, is entering a joint development program with Applied Materials on next-generation silicon carbide substrates.
Sponsored content by EsemdaContract manufacturer Esemda opens new facility in Vilnius and expands EMS The new facility has been built with reserved space for future expansions. As Esemda constantly grows, it is of great importance to be able to rapidly increase production capacity in large volumes.
Swissbit to stay on top of demand with new Berlin fab Back in late July of 2018, Swissbit AG, broke ground on its new R&D and manufacturing facility in Berlin with the aim of tripling the production capacity of location. Now its already up and running.
Nuvia closes series A, eyes data center servers Santa Clara semiconductor design startup Nuvia Inc., formed earlier this year by three former top Apple Inc. design executives, has closed its series A round with USD 53 million secured.
Ingun's going global; expands in Latin America and Eastern Europe Benjamin Sontag (INGUN Prüfmittel GmbH) gave a short update on expansion plans in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Yageo to acquire KEMET in a $1.8 billion deal Yageo Corporation and KEMET Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement under which Yageo will acquire all of the outstanding shares of KEMET’s common stock for USD 27.20 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at USD 1.8 billion.
EVG and DELO partner to expand materials and process capabilities Supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS and semiconductor industry, EV Group (eVG), is partnering with DELO, a manufacturer of industrial high-tech adhesives, in the area of wafer-level optics.
Osram recommends current takeover offer from ams Osram says it has concluded a business combination with Austrian chipmaker ams and is recommending its shareholders to accept the current takeover offer.
EpiWorld speeds up commercialisation of SiC devices with AIXTRON AIXTRON SE has provided an AIX G5 WW C system to EpiWorld International Co., Ltd for the further development of next generation silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxial wafers mainly used for the manufacturing of power devices for automotive applications.
FlexEnable makes acquisition for flex displays FlexEnable, developer of flexible organic electronics, has purchased Merck's portfolio of high-performance organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) materials.
Samsung’s CPU project ends, layoffs in CA and TX Samsung has confirmed in a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission that layoffs as a result of the closure of the CPU project at the Samsung R&D Center (SARC) in Austin, Texas and the San Jose Advanced Computing Lab (ACL) in San Jose, California, will begin December 31.
Marvell completes acquisition of Avera Semi Marvell has completed its acquisition of Avera Semiconductor, the Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) business of GlobalFoundries.
IAR Systems opens office in Taiwan Swedish IAR Systems, a supplier of software tools and services for embedded development, says the company is expanding in Asia with the opening of an office in Taipei, Taiwan.
ZF and Cree partners up to advance the electric drive ZF Friedrichshafen is teaming up with silicon carbide semiconductor specialist Cree, to create industry-leading, highly efficient electric drivelines.
Broadcom completes acquisition of Symantec Enterprise Security business Semiconductor company Broadcom, says that the company has completed its acquisition of the Enterprise Security business of Symantec Corporation
AVX acquires Chengdu OK New Energy AVX Corporation says it has completed the purchase of Chengdu OK New Energy, Ltd. (COKNE).Load more news