The Top Four Polysilicon Manufacturers Will be Chinese in 2022, Says Bernreuter Research
Bernreuter Research predicts that the world’s top four largest polysilicon manufacturers in the year 2022 will be based in China. Wacker Chemie became number one globally after inaugurating its third polysilicon plant in the U.S. state of Tennessee in 2016.
It lost its top position in the year 2020. Tongwei will reach a total capacity of nearly 200,000 metric tons (MT) by the end of the year with its three production locations in Sichuan, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan province. The total capacity is likely to reach 300,000 MT in the year 2023.
Wacker slipped to the second rank in 2020, followed by China-based Daqo New Energy, which replaced OCI from third place according to the production estimates of Bernreuter Research. OCI slid to the seventh position in ranking after shutting down its solar-grade polysilicon operations in South Korea last year.
Germany-based Wacker Chemie remains the largest manufacturer of electronic-grade polysilicon for the semiconductor industry in the world. Wacker aims to gain more market share in this smaller segment.
The quality leader has no intention to increase its solar grade capacity beyond continuous debottlenecking.
Bernreuter Research predicts that three Chinese manufacturers will overtake Wacker pushing it to fifth number in 2022. Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research stated that the rise of China-based players in our ranking is exemplary for the increasing dominance of the Chinese polysilicon industry. China’s share in the global solar-grade polysilicon output will approach 90 per cent in the coming years, he added.
GCL-Poly, Daqo and Xinte Energy are three aspirants for the top four spots in 2022. They are running factories at very low-cost electricity from coal-fired power plants in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region in northwestern China.
According to media reports, Bernreuter commented, “If their countries don’t want to become almost completely dependent on solar products from China for the transition to renewable energy, they have to implement an effective and long overdue industrial policy for a non-Chinese solar supply chain, in particular for ingot and wafer manufacturing.
Low-cost and renewable hydropower in the northwestern USA, Canada, Norway and Malaysia offers them the chance to fuel an alternative supply chain without forced labour and a high carbon footprint.”