A New Blow to the Solar-Energy Supply Chain
Tongwei Co. halted output at a polysilicon factory in southwest China because of flooding, the latest blow to the solar supply chain that has seen rare cost increases this summer due to disruptions.
Tongwei, the world’s No. 3 polysilicon producer last year, said it isn’t clear when the Sichuan province plant will restart, and didn’t say whether it sustained damage. The facility can make 20,000 tons of polysilicon annually, which would have been about 4% of global output last year, according to data compiled by BloombergNEF.
“A short-term price rise driven by this event is possible,” said Yali Jiang, an analyst with BloombergNEF. “But further price rises may lead to project delays considering the already high upstream prices.”
LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., the world’s biggest solar wafer maker, said Tuesday that it signed a five-year contract to purchase 124,800 tons of polysilicon from Asia Silicon (Qinghai) Co. The contract is worth about 9.5 billion yuan ($1.37 billion), while detailed purchased prices will be discussed on a monthly basis, it said.
China has been battered by severe floods since early June, affecting more than 63 million people, according to a posting on the Ministry of Emergency Management’s website.
National Business Daily reported the suspension of Tongwei’s plant earlier Tuesday.
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