New CEO for revamped REC Silicon

Ole Enger, chief executive of REC for nearly five years, will step down from 1 December, as the company embarks on a new – and highly uncertain – future as a standalone polysilicon producer.

Tore Torvund, executive vice president for REC Silicon since 2009, will take the reins from Enger as chief executive of the new REC - today officially renamed as REC Silicon.

REC chief financial officer Kjell Christian Bjørnsen will be replaced by James May, currently chief financial officer of REC Silicon.

REC Silicon saw its third-quarter operating loss halve to NKr135m ($22.9m), as revenues grew 6% year-on-year to NKr738m.

REC Solar, meanwhile, netted an operating profit of NKr26m, a huge improvement over the loss of NKr287m it posted during the same quarter last year, with turnover up 5% to NKr917m.

REC has benefited from an increase in both polysilicon and module prices since earlier this year, although both segments remain under pressure.

The spot price of polysilicon currently stands around $17.90 per kg, compared to less than $16/kg at the beginning of 2013.

The spot price of modules currently stands at around $0.70 per W, compared to roughly $0.66/W at the beginning of the year.

REC Silicon expects to produce 19,500 metric tonnes of polysilicon this year, while REC Solar – now running at full capacity in Singapore – expects to produce 810MW of modules.

This summer REC announced plans to spin off its Singapore-based “Solar” division – encompassing wafer-through-module manufacturing and a project-development arm – with a listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange expected tomorrow.

Øyvind Hasaas, formerly senior vice president at REC’s Solar division, will be the first chief executive at the new REC Solar company, which employs 1,500 people and is targeting 810MW of module production this year.

Having been headquartered in Norway since its inception, REC has over the past year shuttered all its production capacity in its home country, and announced that in future REC Silicon and REC Solar will be based in the US state of Washington and Singapore, respectively.

When the spin-off of REC Solar was announced this summer, no mention was made of plans for Enger, 65, to step down at REC, whose polysilicon division anticipates production of 19,500 metric tonnes this year.

The same day that REC revealed it would split itself in two, it learned that Beijing would impose heavy anti-dumping duties on polysilicon made in the US and to a lesser extent South Korean, though not Europe, casting a pall over the future of its polysilicon business.

REC Silicon acknowledges that the ongoing PV trade dispute between the US and China maybe have a “significant negative impact” on its business going forward.