THE FRIDAY NOTE: OCI delays USD-104m expansion and the rest of the week's top picks
Aug 23, 2013 - This week Korean polysilicon maker OCI puts off USD-104-million capacity expansion plan and Vestas posts bigger losses, while NPD Solarbuzz forecasts second-half solar demand from China and Japan of 9 GW and India unveils a 4-GW solar thermal power project.
In the middle of the week, South Korean polysilicon maker OCI Co (SEO:010060) said it had put on hold a capacity expansion plan of some USD 104m (EUR 78m). The company previously intended to install additional polysilicon production lines with a combined capacity of 10,000 tonnes at its plant in Gunsan, but decided to wait until prices in the sector start to stabilise.
This news came just a day after encouraging projections by market analytics provider IHS (NYSE:IHS), which said in a new report that capital spending by photovoltaics (PV) manufacturers is to rise by 30% in 2014 to USD 3 billion, marking the first increase since 2011. The jump will be driven by demand in emerging markets such as South America, Africa and the Middle East.
PV DEMAND FROM ASIA PACIFIC TO HIT 16 GW THIS YEAR
According to another market research firm -- NPD Solarbuzz -- solar product demand from the Asia Pacific region will actually surpass 16 GW in 2013, marking a 90% year-on-year jump. China and Japan are to account for the stunning 9 GW in the second half of 2013, soaring 70% year-on-year.
As if to support the positive projections, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy this week announced plans to build a 4-GW solar thermal power plant in the northern state of Rajasthan. Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based solar cell maker Goldpoly New Energy (HKG:0686) said Thursday it had agreed to acquire upon completion 400 MW of solar parks from local solar firm GD Solar Co Ltd.
VESTAS’ Q2 NET LOSS DEEPENS, GOLDWIND EYES 400% 9-MO PROFIT JUMP
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS) saw its second-quarter 2013 net loss expand to EUR 62 million (USD 83m) from EUR 8 million a year ago. Revenue fell by 26% year-on-year to EUR 1.19 billion.
For Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology (HKG:2208) things look brighter. On Friday, the company posted a net profit for the first half of 2013 of around USD 15 million, up 28.6% on the year-ago period. The company said there were signs of recovery in the wind power industry but still competition was fierce. In the January-September period it expects net profit to rise by a skyrocketing 350% to 400%.
WIND FARMS FETCH 48% OF S AUSTRALIA’S POWER IN A WEEK
Last but not least, a new wind record was lauded on Friday. Thanks to strong winter winds, wind farm output in South Australia was enough to cover 48% of the state’s power demand in the August 11-17 week, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) said. During the same week, wind turbines installed throughout the country produced 7.6% of the power volume on the National Electricity Market. This is equal to the consumption of over 2.3 million Australian households.