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Stronger Demand to Mono-si Drives Capacity Expansions

published: 2014-05-28 14:56
High-performance products stand an important position at SNEC 2014. Adding the fact that cell manufacturers have started to implement high-efficiency production processes, mono-si wafer demand therefore become stronger. EnergyTrend observes that many PV manufacturers plan to expand their capacities to solve mono-si supply shortage issues.
Xi’an LonGi, Zhonghuan Huanou, Comtec Solar Systems, JingLong, and Solargiga Energy are currently the main providers of solar-grade mono-si wafers. According to EnergyTrend’s interviews conducted at SNEC 2014 with related manufacturers, mono-si still faces supply shortages compared with mono-si. A mono-si supplier said it is difficult to completely satisfy stronger demands from buyers even the production of mono-si is at full capacity. As a result, manufacturers like Xi’an LonGi and Zhonghuan Huanou will expand their mono-si capacities to 3GW by the end of 2014; moreover, both manufacturers plans to further expand 1GW in 2015 to reach a capacity of 5GW by 2016. Still, Solargiga, Comtec, and JingLong will remain their capacities.
In spite of expanding capacities, manufacturers continually try to reduce the production costs. An insider told EnergyTrend that current production costs have been reduced almost 50% compare to 2012. Thanks to the improvement in slicing, crystal growth and related technologies, the target to reduce production costs  is promising to be achieved.
“In the future, thin products will become the mainstream,” explained the insider. “implements of new production processes like diamond wire cutting technology, wafer thinning process and recycling of PEG and SiC are what we strive to develop. In addition, new technologies not only can reduce consumption of raw materials, but also can maintain the efficiency and quality of products. This can help our customer access to products with higher efficiency by controlling costs.” 
This Week’s Price Quotes
This week, quotes of multi-si wafers slightly dropped 0.1% to US$1.004/piece. Meanwhile, quotes of mono-si wafers increased 0.8% to US$1.205/piece due to supply shortages. Regarding cell’s price, manufacturers are clearing stocks of cells with lower efficiency to avoid further price drop as cell efficiency is becoming higher. Therefore, cells’ quotation dropped 0.26% to US$0.378/watt.
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