A petrochemical construction firm based in Saudi Arabia plans to build a state-of-the-art polysilicon plant in Sarawak, Malaysia, expected to being production in 2016.
Project Management & Development Company (PMD) said the plant would cost around US$1.6 billion to build, while its Kuala-Lumpur based affiliate, Cosmos Petroleum & Mining Sdn Bhd, would become the owner and operator.
The polysilicon industry has experienced two years of rapidly falling ASPs, forcing a significant number of small-scale and some large companies to shutter plants. Significant overcapacity and inventory overhangs have dogged the sector, yet the subsequent price declines were crucial to PV module manufacturers lowering prices and opening a number of new unsubsidised markets.
Major polysilicon producers have new capacity to come on stream as well as a new wave of entrants to the market between now and 2016.
However, new plants will have to be highly efficient using the latest closed-loop processes and low-energy consumption to be able to produce high-purity polysilicon and keep prices below US$15/kg to be commercially viable.
PMD’s guided plant costs of US$1.6 billion suggest the plant will have a nameplate capacity of at least 15,000MT per annum.