GCL-Poly, the leading company of polysilicon and silicon chips around the world, announced its sales performance of 1H17 at night on August 30th. By June 30th, 2017, its sales income had reached 11.4 billion, and its profit was about RMB$ 3.7 billion, of which RMB$1.2 billion is attributable to shareholders. The announcement showed that its output of polysilicon in 1H17 was 38.7 thousand tons, and its silicon chip output was 10.6 GW, which represented an increase of 22.6% compared with the performance last year. The orders and outputs were all tight. In 1H17, the company announced that it had officially upgraded its diamond wire saws. The upgrades had enabled its overall manufacturing cost to shrink by 8%, compared with the figure in the end of 2016.
According to the company’s data, unlike traditional slurry sawing technology, diamond wire sawing technology can raise capacity of mono-si wafer by 100%, reduce waste by 25%, increase efficiency by 85%, and decrease cost by 30%. For mono-si, the diamond wire saw upgrade had already finished in recent two years. GCL-Poly started to upgrade the technology of diamond wire sawing for multi-si wafer in 2011, and accumulated a lot of experiences and alternative techniques. It implemented the upgrading procedures thoroughly last year. With the low cost of upgrades, the effectiveness is better than the diamond wire specific machine. Therefore, the cost of polysilicon chip dropped dramatically. The semiannual report of GCL-Poly showed that the average price of silicon chip started from last year’s US$0.187/W, then it went down to US$0.13/W in 1H17. According to the calculation of 10.6 GW, it makes the downstream gain RMB$ 4.0 billion.
After the release of new index of “Top Runner Program”, the top choice of high CP will be to combine diamond wire sawing with black silicon technology, then add PERC technology. The client information of GCL-Poly shows that the efficiency of black silicon solar cell generally can increase above 0.3-0.4%. Moreover, the combination of multi-crystalline black silicon with PERC technology can bring extra profits, and is up to 0.4% more efficient compared with normal multi-crystalline PERC. The efficiency it gains is greater than the sum of its parts. GCL-Poly’s MACE PERC efficiency is above 20% and RIE PERC efficiency is above 20.4%, which has a higher CP than mono-crystalline. It is a perfect choice to produce multi-crystalline with 285W-290W, and it meets the requirement of “Top Runner Program”.
Zhanjun Zhu, the CEO of GCL-Poly, stated at the global investor conference call that the current capacity of diamond wire sawing of silicon chip has reached above 40% and will reach 80% at the end of 2017. The introduction of this technology greatly reduces the cost of producing silicon chip, as the amount that can be made per equipment is increased significantly. GCL-Poly can reduce its costs by 10% during the whole year. As the leading company, GCL-Poly has already reduced its price to make downstream clients gain profits. With the polysilicon chip capacity of 10 GW in half a year, it can supply products to PV segments where the price is under $3/W. In the near term, GCL-Poly will also increase its use of black silicon technology to promote the transformation of high CP multi-crystalline.
Looking back on the state of the PV market in 1H16, from the off season in Q1 to the 6.30 installation rush in Q2, mono-crystalline price has remained high. Silicon chip price reached $6.5/piece, which was $2 higher than multi-crystalline. Component price was $3.4/W. The weak capacity of mono-crystalline had led to the delay of various events, which made it difficult for some manufacturers to meet the 6.30 deadline for grid connection. With its upgrades, the capacity of GCL-Poly’s diamond wire saw makes the installed base of 24GW in 1H become possible. In the future, the promotion of 80% diamond wire saw on the market will drop the cost of PV and speed up the process of grid connection in a cheap price.