GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ: GTAT) and Powertec Energy Corporation (“Powertec”) announced today the execution of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which states Powertec’s intention to purchase polysilicon technology and equipment from GT for their phase 2 and 3 expansion projects. Design work for these projects has begun and Powertec currently expects to begin ordering GT equipment and technology in the second half of 2014.
Powertec was founded in 2010 with WalsinLihwa Group, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), and Sino American Silicon Products Inc. (SAS) as major shareholders. In 2011, Powertec began its phase 1 project, located in Taiwan’s Changbin Industrial Park, at which time it purchased 6,000 MTA polysilicon production technology and equipment from GT. The equipment for phase 1 was shipped in 2012. Powertec’s phase 1 project is on track for commercial operation in the first half of 2014 in line with when the solar industry, which has experienced a downturn since 2011, is expected to recover.
“When our plant is fully operational next year, we will immediately begin debottlenecking work to increase our phase 1 capacity to 7,500 MTA. We expect to produce high-quality polysilicon at a cash cost that will enable us to successfully compete on a global scale,” said YiYi Tai, chairman of Powertec.“In addition, Powertec and GT have already started designing the phase 2 and 3 expansion projects. Construction of our next phase is expected to begin immediately after the successful startup of phase 1. Total capacity at our current site is expected to reach 27,500 MTA after all three phases are completed.”
With increasing demand for higher solar power conversion efficiency, polysilicon quality is becoming increasingly important. In addition, there is strong demand in Taiwan from leading Taiwan semiconductor companies such as UMC and SAS for ultra high-quality electronic-grade polysilicon. Powertec’s phase 1 high-quality capacity as well as phase 2 and 3 electronic grade capacity are expected to meet not only future solar demand, but also domestic semiconductor industry demand in Taiwan.