China's Polysilicon Production will Reach 7,000 Metric Tons by 2009

With the global shortage in polysilicon, the key raw material used in the production of solar wafers, to reach its peak in 2008, China's emerging manufacturers are working to tap into that demand.

"There are currently four Chinese companies producing polysilicon," explains Susan Gordon, an analyst at THT Research who provides consulting services to corporate and investor clients on China's solar energy industry. "Last year, these companies produced a total of 1,000 metric tons of polysilicon. Next year, we expect Chinese production to increase to 2,000 metric tons, as these companies improve their production processes and new companies ramp up production."

"In the short run, China's contribution to global supply will remain very small," explains Gordon. "World-wide production in 2007 was around 37.5 thousand metric tons and we expect it to exceed 51,000 metric tons in 2008."

"Even though there are at least 20 polysilicon projects now underway in China, technical, know-how, logistics, and product purity problems abound; we don't expect more than eight of them to succeed in the long run," explains Gordon. "After 2009, China's production will begin to grow more rapidly, reaching 7,000 metric tons, but it will not seriously challenge North American, European and Japanese dominance in the industry in the near future."

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