Wacker withdraws from solar wafer JV: focus on polysilicon expansion

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Wacker Chemie is withdrawing from its joint venture solar wafer manufacturing activities to focus entirely on polysilicon production. The company said that it would transfer its share in Wacker Schott Solar to its partner at a cost of €50 million and an increase in financial debt of approximately €65 million. Both parties have agreed to the change.

“In this field, we can play out our technology leadership and our strong market position with maximum impact.”

Wacker noted that the majority of wafers produced under the joint venture were ultimately used by Schott Solar for internal module production.

Wacker is currently undertaking a massive polysilicon capacity expansion plan in an effort to remain a leading player in the solar market. The current plan is to boost  polysilicon capacity from 15,000MT/year in 2009 to 35,500 tonnes by the end of 2011.

Scale is rapidly becoming a key competitive advantage as polysilicon production has expanded to an over capacity situation, resulting in plummeting prices. Only the large scale, low cost providers are expected to remain profitable during a period of over supply.

 

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