October 16, 2007 – Some of Taiwan’s top PV manufacturers, including Wafer Works, Sino-American Silicon, Motech, and E-Tone, are basking in record sales and optimistic forecasts for the next several years, notes the Taiwan Economic News.
Polycrystalline silicon suppliers Wafer Works Corp. and Sino-American Silicon Products Inc. say revenues will keep surging to 2010, after nearly 2+ years of continuous monthly records. Prices are up an eye-popping 29-fold over the past seven years, and a shortage is still likely through the end of this decade, the paper notes.
Sino-American posted ~35% gross margins for its PV silicon business in 2Q07, the best among its peers, due to a partnership with US firm Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. and MEM. For Wafer Works, business is good thanks to supplies from Japan’s Sumitomo, which is investing in Chinese concern Solargiga and has acquired claims to mine silicon in Australia.
Elsewhere among Taiwan PV-related firms, solar cell maker Motech Industries aims to boost capacity by nearly 60% in 2008, increasing cell output to 280MW, and output of crystalline silicon to at least 100MW from just 12MW this year, the paper notes. Motech is the island’s first PV manufacturer to crack annual sales above $300M — already topping that mark through 3Q07 — with earnings of ~$0.26/share. Analysts are expecting sales to double next year, with nearly fourfold better earnings of ~$0.92/share, and think the company can help itself by reducing costs by 20%-30% or more on materials since it utilizes its own crystalline growth capabilities.
Meanwhile, rival E-Tone Solar Tech is targeting ~$30M in sales in the current quarter, 1.5x what it reported earlier this year, the paper notes. The firm plans to boost cell output to 150MW in 2008, and has secured 80% of materials for the production, half of that from Japan’s M.Setek, which is ramping up its output capacity to 50,000 metric tons in 2011 from current 100 metric tons.