Paper: PV demand pinching consumables supplies, too

July 11, 2008 – Polysilicon has been increasingly in short supply thanks to heavy demand from the photovoltaic market, but while materials suppliers are taking steps to ramp up output and secure supplies, the PV push may be putting the squeeze on related manufacturing components/materials, notes Digitimes, citing “possible shortages” of manufacturing crucibles used in ingot production.

Quotes for 240-270kg crucibles from an unnamed supplier have doubled in just over a year to nearly $1000 each, the paper said, citing unnamed “industry sources” referring to an unidentified supplier. As polysilicon production ramps, so to will demand for related manufacturing components/materials like the quartz/graphite crucibles used load polysilicon into furnaces to pull crystals into ingots.

The paper notes a disagreement on the severity of the situation, citing on one side Chinese vendors who claim to be able to produce crucibles “with proven quality,” and on the other side Taiwan PV industry firms who won’t use the Chinese crucibles due to quality concerns (citing a furnace explosion at Green Energy Technology a few years ago).


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