According to Reuters, the solar wafer supply contract dispute between Conergy and MEMC could soon be over as talks to find a settlement were continuing with the aim of both parties to find an amicable solution. Conergy, like other PV cell and module manufacturers that had undertaken long-term supply deals for polysilicon back in 2007, found they were as a disadvantage to others when spot market prices tumbled in 2009, due to overcapacity and weak demand.
Supply was under severe constraint and spot market prices eventually soared to above US$450/kg in mid-2008. PV manufacturers had paid significant forward deposits for polysilicon and some had negotiated prices, even with annual price reductions that were soon uncompetitive with spot prices or were for quantities that they couldn’t absorb, when demand was weak in the first-half of 2009.
Reuters reported that the negotiations between Conergy and MEMC have been ongoing every week since last October to find a settlement. The dispute was originally taken to a New York court by Conergy in April 2009.
Perhaps, coincindentally, October last year was the month Nabeel Gareeb, the then-president and CEO of MEMC, suddenly resigned his executive position and seat on the board. Gareeb had been noted for MEMC’s turnaround story only a few years before.
With the entry of many new polysilicon producers, Conergy and other companies have multiple channels to access high-quality polysilicon and solar wafers at favourable prices.