Timminco Limited has said that it was hit with unexpected processing problems in the first quarter, which resulted in lower production volumes of UMG-Si. Timminco had previously reported in April that it had shipped 131MT of UMG-Si in the first quarter, down significantly from 424MT in the fourth quarter of 2008. The average selling price in the quarter was US$58 per kg, down from $65 per kg in the same quarter a year ago.
The company noted that a new feedstock combination that was intended to reduce the costs of UMG-Si production and enhance the consistency of the material actually produced lower production yields. A higher level of by-products then required reprocessing, taking up intended production capacity.
Some customers had previously terminated contracts, due to Timminco failing to meet material specifications.
“Specifically, our financial results were impacted by lower demand for each of our Silicon Group product lines, significant costs incurred in our solar grade silicon operations as we continued to refine our process and utilized expanded and available capacity to recycle by-products of production.” noted Dr. Heinz Schimmelbusch, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Timminco.
Timminco reported sales of US$37.7 million compared with US$47.6 million for the first quarter of 2008 and a net loss of US$22.3 million, compared to a net loss of US$0.6 million for the first quarter of 2008.