HHI 'walking away' from poly unit

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is reportedly exiting its polysilicon joint venture, Korean Advanced Materials (KAM), which it owns alongside Korean peer KCC.

HHI is simply walking away from its investment in KAM to avoid losing any more money and transferring its stake to KCC for free, according to the Korea IT Times.

HHI formed KAM alongside the polysilicon maker KCC in 2008, with an eye towards securing feedstock for its cell business at a time when polysilicon prices were through the roof.

Since then, however, prices have crashed back to Earth and a number of Korean PV producers are understood to have contemplated pulling back from the sector in the face of blistering Chinese competition.

Beijing’s threats to impose duties on Korean-made polysilicon imported into China have also cast a pall over Korean producers like KCC and OCI.

Despite concerns about Korea’s PV sector, HHI has remained adamant about its intention to remain in the solar game for the long term. In addition to its own-brand modules, the company is also an investor in the thin-film manufacturer Avancis alongside France’s Saint-Gobain.

In 2011 KAM was tapped to build a polysilicon foundry in Saudi Arabia, although reports of that project have since gone quiet.