Q-Cells AG has signed a significant supply deal with LDK Solar for upgraded metallurgical silicon (umg-Si) based wafers. The signed MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) will see LDK Solar process approximately 20,000MT (metric tones) of upgraded metallurgical silicon into wafers for Q-Cells, until 2018, with an option for an additional 21,000MT. Supply of the umg-Si wafers is to start this year, the companies said.
Earlier this year, Q-Cells signed a umg-Si supply deal with Becancour Silicon Inc. (BSI), a division of Timminco. The initial deal was later increased to 6,000 metric tons per year in the years 2010 to 2013.
Q-Cells had also recently said that it would use umg-Si wafers exclusively at its new 300MW solar cell facility, Line VII in Malaysia. The Malaysian facility is expected to start production early in 2009. The company is also using umg-Si at its production facility in Thalheim, Germany which initially has a 20MW capacity but is being expanded to 80MW later this year.
Q-Cells also announced that LDK Solar will provide up to 5GW of silicon solar wafers that are additional to the original contract signed in December 2007. The company reiterated production forecasts of more than 1GW in 2009 and over 2GW in 2010. Total production capacity that includes thin film is expected to reach 2.5GW in 2010.