China has stopped accepting scrap polysilicon recycled to make solar wafers from sources outside the country for environmental reasons, according to a Reuters report.
The move could send ripples through the Chinese supply chain, affecting the scrap poly traders and the companies that sell to them–including major foreign suppliers– in a potentially negative fashion, while for Chinese polysilicon firms, the ban may lead to opportunities to increase their revenues.
“China’s Environmental Protection Ministry said it imposed the ban because the heavy chemicals that come in contact with scrap polysilicon when reused to make solar wafers and panels produce waste that could harm the environment,” according to the news service.
“In a way, the ruling was designed to protect (China’s) very young polysilicon industry,” KK Chan, CEO of Nature Elements Capital, told Reuters. “The sector needs all the help it can get given a supply glut of the material.”
Chinese poly producers such as GCL-Poly, Yingli Green Energy, ReneSola, and Tongwei could all benefit, although ReneSola CFO Charles Bai was quoted in the news report as saying that the move “should not have an impact, given there is sufficient supply of polysilicon in the market.”