Significant long-term polysilicon supply contracts signed by OCI are fuelling its rapid polysilicon capacity expansion plans. The Korean-based producer has said it would start construction in the second-half of this year on its P5 polysilicon plant with an annual production capacity of 24,000MT at a cost of US$1.7 billion in Saemangeum Industrial Complex, North Jeolla South Korea.
The new P5 plant will be OCI’s largest having completed a 10,000MT plant in 2010, further investments in debottlenecking will take annual capacity to 42,000MT by the end of 2011. However, OCI is planning operations to begin at its P4 plant with a capacity of 20,000MT late next year, taking capacity to 62,000MT.
The new P5 plant is expected to operational at the end of 2013, taking total annual capacity to 86,000MT, though this figure could still rise significantly should debottlenecking be able to be applied to both P4 and P5 facilities.
“To strengthen our market dominance through satisfying the needs of customers, it is timely to drive the expansion of P5 Plant at this moment since the major polysilicon suppliers such as Hemlock and Wacker are targeting 2013 for their aggressive plant expansion deadline,” the company said in an official statement. “As the polysilicon market will clearly head towards an oversupply situation, the growing needs of high-efficient solar cells will ultimately lead the insistent demands for high-purity polysilicon products, the core material for high-efficient solar cells manufacturing. Instead of turning to vertical integration, global customers prefer sourcing their polysilicon product supplies from OCI, which is devoting into polysilicon production only instead of relying on vertical integration.”