Tongwei warns of tight materials supply amidst revenue jump

By Carrie Xiao
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Tongwei expects to finish 2022 with solar cell production capacity of 55GW. Image: Tongwei.

Tongwei has warned of ongoing tight supply of solar PV materials after recording a jump in 2021 revenue in excess of 50%.

Last week the upstream manufacturer published its 2021 performance report, confirming total operating revenues to have jumped by 50.6% year-on-year to RMB66.6 billion (US$10.5 billion) and net profit to have more than doubled to RMB8.2 billion, a new record for the company.

Both figures were in line with expectations published last month.

However the manufacturer warned that, having benefitted from the growth in demand for downstream products throughout 3031, high-purity silicon remain in short supply so far this year, causing prices to have continued to increase.

Indeed, despite falling slightly at the start of the year, polysilicon prices have risen in recent weeks.  

Tongwei’s high-purity silicon production capacity continues to run at full capacity and last year the company sold a total of 107,700 tons of polysilicon, an increase of 24% on the total in 2020. Its total annual production capacity meanwhile stands at 180,000 tons, with Tongwei advancing plans to expand that capacity.

A new facility in Baotou with a capacity of 50,000 tons is set to come into operation this year, while Tongwei also intends to invest in 200,000 tons of polysilicon capacity in Leshan, approximately have of which capacity is expected to come onstream this year.

By the end of 2022, Tongwei said it expects to have polysilicon production capacity of 330,000MT.

Furthermore, Tongwei said new production facilities will deliver further optimised production processes, improving product quality while reducing cost and allowing for greater quantities of n-type polysilicon to be produced, catering for the solar industry’s much-anticipated shift to n-type modules.

Tongwei is too planning to ramp up its cell manufacturing capacity after a year in which it said the division grew steadily. With capacity expansions underway in Shuangliu, Jintang, Meishan and Hefei, Tongwei expects to finish 2022 with cell production capacity of around 55GW, compared to 40GW in 2021.

The company said it expects to ship around 30GW of cells in 2022.

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