PV Crystalox suspends polysilicon production in Germany and cuts wafering jobs in UK

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Citing some customer cutbacks in solar module manufacturing production levels and continued pressure on wafer prices that have declined more than 50% since April this year, PV Crystalox Solar is taking drastic measures to reduce cash burn in these difficult times for the global PV industry. The company is operating at a significant reduction in wafer shipments, compared to previous forecasts, job losses and short time working.

The wafer supplier announced a temporary suspension of polysilicon production at its facility in Bitterfeld, Germany, with short time working for employees.

The biggest impact will be on ingot and wafer production in the UK. PV Crystalox said in a statement that it was reducing production output, without providing further details, yet also announced that this would lead to “significant job losses in the UK.” Again, the actual number of job losses was not disclosed.

In its last business update in August, the company noted there had been a 45% price decline for wafers from May to June, 2011. However, since then, the company said that wafer prices on the spot market have decreased by more than 20%.

Though the company said this had resulted in a price decline of 50% the reality is a drop of somewhere around 65%. Price declines have been industry-wide due to weak demand and significant over capacity within the supply chain.

As a result of the worsening prices originally noted in August, the company was already operating below break-even level. The rapid and deep fall in prices have meant the company has made inventory write-downs, yet did not disclose the financial impact on its balance sheet.

With some of its customers cutting production of cells and modules in response to weak demand, especially in Germany, PV Crystalox drastically revised down shipment guidance. Shipments for the full year are expected to be in the range of 360-390MW, down from previous guidance in August of between 400-450MW. PV Crystalox shipped 378MW in 2010, but has significantly ramped ingot/wafer and polysilicon production since.

Wafer production capacity had reached a nameplate of 535MW. The company had previously said it was expanding capacity to 750MW by early 2012.

The polysilicon production plant was operating at nameplate capacity of 1,800MT, which was expected to remain fully utilized for the remainder of the year with the intention of supporting cost reduction efforts. Annual polysilicon output averaged 1,475MT during the first five months of 2011.

Despite the actions and market conditions, PV Crystalox said that it expected to “have a healthy cash balance at the end of the year.” Although, the company is continuing “to review industry conditions on an ongoing basis.”

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
August 2, 2021
In today’s installment of PV Tech’s ‘European solar under the spotlight’ feature, we assess the potential and key drivers behind Europe’s leading markets in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
PV Tech Premium
July 30, 2021
Not only will solar be the dominant source of new power generation in Europe by 2025, cementing its position as the third largest market for solar globally, but the continent has placed the asset class at the very heart of its COVID-19 recovery strategy. As part of a week-long special report on PV Tech Premium, Liam Stoker, Edith Hancock and Jules Scully explore the drivers for solar in Europe, the key markets and the challenges that remain.
July 30, 2021
First Solar has unveiled plans to construct a 3.3GWdc module assembly facility in India, bolstering its manufacturing footprint outside of the US.
July 30, 2021
Anglo-Australian mining company BHP, in partnership with Canada’s TransAlta Renewables, is to build two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power its Mt Keith and Leinster nickel mines in Western Australia
July 30, 2021
German energy giant RWE has upgraded its earnings forecast for 2021 after “exceptionally positive” earnings trend
July 29, 2021
Tracker and racking provider Arctech has delivered SkySmart II tracking system to a 575MW agriculture-sharing solar project located in Nangong City, Hebei Province, China.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK