July 26 (Renewables Now) - The polysilicon division of German chemicals company Wacker Chemie AG (ETR:WCH) saw its EBITDA reduced 45% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018 mainly by ramp costs at the polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee.
Production facilities in Charleston are gradually coming on stream again, the company said as it released its second-quarter results today.
The polysilicon business' earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were EUR 39.1 million (USD 45.7m) in the quarter. Compared to the preceding three-month period EBITDA was down 19%, which was additionally due to lower prices, the company said.
Polysilicon sales declined 2% from a year ago to EUR 242.1 million as "volumes and average prices were somewhat lower." Quarter-on-quarter sales rose 10% as volume growth more than offset lower average polysilicon prices.
Wacker expects full-year sales at the division to decline by a low-double-digit percentage from 2017, compared to a high-single-digit percentage decline projected in the company's latest annual report. EBITDA is expected to be down some 10%, while the 2017 annual report projected a slight increase.
Production was shut down at Charleston after on September 7, 2017 a hydrogen explosion caused by a technical defect damaged a plant section. No insurance compensation for the business interruption loss was booked in the first half of 2018, the company said.
Overall the company could outperform its current full-year earnings forecast provided there is no economic downturn, said chief executive Rudolf Staudigl.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.168)