Wacker polysilicon sales exceed €1bn in ’09, investment planned

24 March 2010 13:04  [Source: ICIS news]

MUNICH (ICIS News)--German producer Wacker Chemie’s polysilicon business surpassed €1bn ($1.34bn) in sales for the first time in 2009 and the company is planning further investment in the business during 2010, CEO and president Rudolf Staudigl said on Wednesday.

The business’s full-year sales reached €1.12bn, up 35% year on year from €828m in 2008, Staudigl said at Wacker’s annual financial results press conference, where it announced a 2009 net loss of €74.5m.

The increased sales were mainly a result of additional production volumes, Staudigl said. He added that polysilicon demand continued to be high despite the financial crisis.

Wacker’s polysilicon is used in the semiconductor and photovoltaics markets. The business generated 26% of the company’s €3.72bn sales in 2009.

“Output climbed by over 50% to 18,100 tonnes in 2009 compared to 2008. We managed to place all this material on the market at attractive prices,” Staudigl said.

Wacker is increasing its polysilicon capacities from 15,000 tonnes/year in 2009 to 35,000 tonnes/year by the end of 2011. The company started its Stage 8 project at Burghausen, Germany, last year, which Staudigl said was six months earlier than originally planned. The facility is expected to reach annual capacity of 10,000 tonnes in the second quarter of 2010.

A new 10,000 tonne/year polysilicon plant being constructed at Nunchritz is set to come on stream at the end of 2011.

Asia was a big driving factor in demand, said Staudigl.

“We generate almost 60% of Asian polysilicon sales in China, including Taiwan, and this trend is steadily increasing,” he added.

Wacker expects to continue increasing its investment in polysilicon capacity expansions in 2010.

“We plan to invest in total between €600m to €700m in 2010 and the lion’s share will be for ongoing polysilicon projects,” Staudigl said.

“Even amid decreasing polysilicon prices, we see good opportunities here for continued, profitable growth,” he added.

For more on Wacker Chemie visit ICIS company intelligence
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By: Doris de Guzman
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