Korean polysilicon producer, OCI will catapult past leading polysilicon producers Hemlock and Wacker with its latest plant expansion plans. OCI is investing up to US$1.6 billion (KRW 1.88 trillion) to build its P4 polysilicon plant with a production capacity of 20,000MT at the existing site in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do. With construction beginning December 2010, the new facility is scheduled to be completed by October 2012.
However, the debottlenecking of its P3 Plant, which has only recently started production, OCI will achieve a capacity of 42,000MT by the end of 2011, exceeding production capacity plans of 35,000MT at Wacker and 36,000MT at Hemlock by the end of 2012. With the P4 facility completed, OCI will have a polysilicon capacity of 62,000MT, dwarfing the long-standing dominant players in the industry.
OCI noted that high-purity polysilicon over 9-nine (99.99.%) grade is expected to remain in short supply as the PV industry is now preferring to use high-purity polysilicon as it boost solar cell efficiencies.
Trial production at its new P3 plant has already begun and start-up production at the 10,000MT facility is expected to begin by the end of December 2010.
OCI also noted that the two-phase debottlenecking of P3 (Phase 1: 8,000 metric tons Phase 2: 7,000 metric tonnes) increase included new facilities. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.