Calisolar changes name as Suntech becomes key customer of its purified silicon metal

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Calisolar is morphing into a polysilicon producer with a name change that better reflects its future ambitions. Renamed, Silicor Materials Inc, the company has bagged a major supply deal for its purified silicon metal material with the PV industries largest module producer, Suntech Power Holdings.

“Over the past year, we’ve sharpened our focus on the segment of the solar supply chain where we have our greatest competitive edge: production of high quality, low cost silicon,” said John Correnti, Executive Chairman of Silicor Materials. “In order to get to grid parity, the entire solar industry must get used to a lower price point. Silicor Materials is leading the way with a cutting-edge product, enabling cost reductions across the supply chain.” 

Silicor Materials claims that its ‘revolutionary’ process, which purifies silicon metals with aluminium to achieve higher-grade solar silicon material offers polysilicon to be sold at less than US$20/kg, easily competing with many ‘Siemens’ based producers on cost due in part to significantly lower energy usage.

Major customers

The company said that Suntech Power Holdings, which had been a customer of Calisolar’s UMG-Si products in the past, would take 40% of its 16,000MT annual production. Suntech does not produce polysilicon in-house. 

“Silicor Materials has been a great partner and supplier. The team has enabled our growth in the Ontario solar market with their silicon, and we look forward to serving additional markets with the silicon they will produce in Mississippi,” commented Eric Luo, Senior Vice President for Global Supply Chain at Suntech.

Silicor is planning to build a polysilicon plant in Lowndes County, Mississippi at a cost of US$600 million and be operational in 2014.

The company also said it had agreed terms with another PV manufacturer, though did not disclose its identity.

“We are extremely pleased to formalize two strong partnerships as we progress with the construction of our Mississippi facility,” said Theresa Jester, CEO of Silicor Materials. “Our new name, Silicor Materials, reflects our commitment to delivering world-class products to a variety of industries. In line with the plan we outlined last September, our core product continues to be high quality silicon for PV cells. In addition, our innovative manufacturing process will continue to allow us to sell aluminum-based products, such as master alloys and polyaluminum chloride.”

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