Despite recent disruptions at its Pasadena manufacturing plant that reduced revenues for the first quarter of 2008 by approximately 10 percent, MEMC said in a conference call with financial analysts that its target of reaching 8,000MT of polysilicon production in 2008 was on target.
Although being cautious on pushing past that target due to technical problems with expansions, MEMC executives said that the construction of its ‘Unit 4’ was slightly ahead of schedule to be completed before the end of the second quarter and the expected new polysilicon reactor capacity was on schedule for the third quarter of 2008.
An extra 500MT expansion has taken place at its Merano facility but is now not expected to be ready for another quarter due to maintenance plans.
“So last time we talked, I said Unit 4 [Pasadena] might be completed by the end of Q2. What we’re now saying is we are now targeting Unit 4 to be completed prior to the end of Q2,” said Nabeel Gareeb, President and Chief Executive Officer, MEMC. “That will give us some silane gas to use with existing poly reactors depending on the ramp, of course. But that capacity will be available prior to that in the Q2. Then, in the early part of Q3, we’ll have poly reactors that will be also to be coupled with that unit to basically give us capacity up to about 7,500 metric tons, approximately. There was also about 500 metric tons planned in Merano for Q2 that was going to be complete prior to the end of Q2 and basically what we have done is we have pushed that out into Q3 as a conscious decision here in the last few weeks because that required downtime and I didn’t want to take any downtime to cause any more uncertainty in our ability to produce poly for the quarter.”
MEMC’s longer-term target of 15,000MT by the end of 2010 was unchanged.