China-based Daqo New Energy has switched production technologies to increase its yield of trichlorosilane (TCS) in response to growing demand. Daqo will adopt hydrochlorination technology for the conversion of silicon tetrachloride (STC) into TCS at its Wanzhou polysilicon manufacturing facility, which will grow its polysilicon output from 4,300MT to 9,000MT per annum.
The change to hydrochlorination technology, which will lead to a TCS production capability of 220,000 MT, will require Daqo to retrofit its current hydrogenation furnaces into TCS deposition furnaces. This retrofitting project is due to begin in October 2011, with an anticipated completion date within the third quarter of 2012.
The cost of this technology change will be somewhere in the region of US$135 million. Daqo recently revealed that it had secured a US$150 million loan from Bank of China’s Shihezi branch in Xinjiang.
“We have been closely working with key partners on hydrochlorination technology for a while and have concluded that this is the right time to adopt this technology”, said Dr. Gongda Yao, Daqo New Energy’s CEO. “We are excited about the opportunity to use this technology, not only to improve our manufacturing cost structure by increasing energy consumption efficiency, but also enable us to more than double our polysilicon manufacturing capacity in Wanzhou with low capital expenditure.”