The long and winding road for polysilicon start-up, Hoku Materials looks to straightening after the company said it expected to start operations at its poly plant in Pocatello, Idaho. Hoku said it had received continued financial support from Tianwei New Energy Holdings, to complete construction of its first phase (2,500MT) plant and begin production.
“At Hoku Materials, we remain on track to ship commercial product this calendar year,” noted, Scott Paul, chief executive officer of Hoku Corporation “We are positioned to bring the first 2,500 metric tons of manufacturing capacity online in the coming weeks, and we continue commissioning key systems on site. We have completely aligned our construction management and operations teams to ensure a smooth and safe transition from construction into commissioning followed by continuous polysilicon production.”
Due to numerous delays in the construction phase due to pervious financing issues, Hoku also noted that it had reached an agreement with a customer, Solargiga to delay first shipments of polysilicon until the second quarter of calendar year 2012, in exchange for concessions on price, and on the terms of the repayment of their deposits.
Hoku also noted that it was in discussions with other customers to delay first shipments until the plant was online.
However, Idaho Power, the plants utility provider has insisted Hoku meets pre-payments for electricity usage plans despite the plant not yet being operational. Hoku has paid the utility US$5.3 million to ensure there are no power supply issues just before operations commence.
The company reported a net loss, of US$10.2 million in the second quarter, due to the utility payment and plant costs.