In the article the supply-demand balance for semiconducting polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) is investigated and an attempt is made to make a forecast until 2018. The assessment of the condition of solar power and global polysilicon production in 2014 is provided. Currently, the capacities of polysilicon producers in the world exceed the demand for it; however, there is no consensus view regarding estimated consumption in the next few years and when overproduction is exhausted. The large producers manufacturing polysilicon with low production costs are prevailing at present. The top-10 producers—Hemlock, REC, OCI, Wacker, GCL, TBEA XinJiang Silicon, LDK, Daqo New Energy, Tokuyama, and SunEdison (ex-MEMC)—have a total production capacity of about 250000 tons of polysilicon. There is also an area of uncertainty in which there are about 80–90 producers with different degrees of production readiness and different achieved efficiencies and productivity. The description of the modern polysilicon market is given, including the technology assessments, supply capabilities, manufacturing costs, and silicon utilization trends, as well as an estimate and prospects until 2018. Theree possible scenarios are considered, which were chosen to outline the area of the most probable development variants. It is established that in the absence of a slowdown in the global economy, the probability of solving the problems of polysilicon overproduction due to growing consumption is high and demand for new polysilicon production capacities will return within the next 3–4 years.
Russian Microelectronics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 8, 2017
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