Suntech Power Holdings signed new supply agreements with GCL Silicon Technology, under which GCL will supply 9420 metric tons of polysilicon and 1.1 GW of silicon wafers to the Chinese photovoltaic solar cell and module manufacturer from 2008 to 2012.
“These agreements with GCL Silicon will greatly strengthen our silicon pipeline and support our capacity and production expansion over the next five years,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi. “With steep declining cost curves, these agreements are in line with our strategy to quickly reach grid parity and extend our position as a leading global provider of solar products.”
With these new agreements, Suntech has secured approximately 1 GW of silicon for 2009. The company recently signed over 200 MW of fixed-price, fixed-volume sales contracts for 2009 and targets to finalize approximately 500 MW of additional sales contracts by the end of September.
Within the past several months, Suntech has inked multiyear deals with companies such as Wacker Schott, PV Crystalox, and Shunda (in which it holds a minority interest) for hundreds of megawatts of wafers and Nitol Solar (in which it also has a minority interest), Hoku, and DC for thousands of tons of polysilicon.
During its most recent quarterly financial call, the company reported it had 660 MW of cell-manufacturing capacity in place at the end of the second-quarter 2008 and expected to reach the gigawatt capacity level by year’s end. Suntech also said that it had raised its earlier annual production target for 2008 from 530 MW to 550 MW.
The company ranked third globally in solar-cell production in 2007, following Q-Cells and Sharp, according to several industry surveys.
— Tom Cheyney