Daqo gets trio of polysilicon deals

Daqo New Energy has nabbed three significant orders running through 2014, in what will be seen as a victory in Beijing’s efforts to revive China’s flagging domestic polysilicon sector.

Daqo says the orders will soak up 70% of the output from its new manufacturing subsidiary, Xinjiang Daqo New Energy, through to the end of next year.

The Xinjiang plant, which began producing earlier this year in western China, boasts 5,000 tonnes of capacity – more than doubling Daqo’s total polysilicon capacity.

Daqo did not reveal which wafer makers the new orders came from. It counts Chinese companies like Yingli and Solargiga among its key customers.

In contrast to the downstream PV cell and module markets, which China dominates, the global market for PV-grade polysilicon remains largely controlled by companies based in Europe, the US and South Korea – a reality that Beijing is keen to turn on its head.

After Beijing last month slapped anti-dumping tariffs on polysilicon produced in the US and Korea – although not Europe – it followed up this week by imposing modest anti-subsidy tariffs on Hemlock Semiconductor and AE Polysilicon, both based in the US.

Shares of New York-listed Daqo have more than doubled in the past month, vastly outpacing the wider PV industry, in response to Beijing’s measures and stiffening polysilicon prices. 

Daqo lost $115.6m last year on revenues of $86.9m. The company produced 3,300 tonnes of polysilicon last year out of its Chongqing plant.

GCL-Poly remains China’s – and indeed the world’s – largest polysilicon maker, with the competition far behind in terms of overall capacity.

A handful of Chinese wafer players, such as LDK Solar and ReneSola, have diversified into polysilicon production, generally with disappointing results.