OCI to cease Korean solar polysilicon production, Hanwha could follow

Solar cells. Author: Martin Abegglen. License: Creative Commons. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

February 12 (Renewables Now) - South Korea’s OCI Co Ltd (SEO:010060) plans to close its solar-grade polysilicon factories at home for an unspecified period and the same could happen to local sites owned and operated by Hanwha Solution.

OCI said in a presentation on Tuesday that it intends to minimise the production of solar-grade polysilicon in Korea as a result of the plunging market price. The company’s polysilicon facilities in Gunsan will undergo regular maintenance to prepare for chemical management evaluation from mid-Feb. However, OCI plans to only restart the facilities that focus on electronic-grade polysilicon.

The financial report for the fourth quarter shows that the company registered impairment losses on assets of KRW 750.5 billion (USD 636.5m/EUR 584.2m) because of the declining polysilicon prices and intensified competition in the market due to capacity expansion of competitors during 2018-2019.

“Despite continued technology investment and cost reduction, the business environment is not favorable, which adds to the cost burden and weakens business competitiveness,” the presentation reads.

The company will continue to run only its solar-grade polysilicon operation in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, an official at Hanwha Solution told The Korea Times that the company is considering terminating local polysilicon production as well due to the worsening market environment. The company representative, however, has noted that nothing has been confirmed so far.

Hanwha Solution was created in January 2020 through the merger of Hanwha Chemical, Hanwha Q Cells and Hanwha Advanced Materials.

(KRW 1.0 = USD 0.848/EUR 0.778)

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