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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

From Siberia with Polysilicon

NITOL Group Going solar in a big way

I first wrote about the NITOL Group in From Russia with Polysilicon. Per the recent press release, GT Solar Signs $49M Polysilicon Reactor Contract with Nitol Group, the Nitol Group’s NITOL-Silicon, Ltd. subsidiary is stepping beyond trichlorosilane production and entering the Big Show (American term for Major League Baseball) of polysilicon production. NITOL – Silicon’s production is located at Usolie-Sibirskiy Silicon, Ltd., Irkutsk region.

Per NITOL Group President, Dmitry Kotenko:

GT Solar’s experience in the manufacture of reactors and other PV equipment is a perfect match with NITOL’s experience as a producer of silicon organic gases. NITOL is on track to be the most competitive polysilicon and wafer producer in the fast growing PV industry.

The NITOL Group’s solar ambitions extend beyond polysilicon production and include wafer manufacturing. I expect this development will be a recurring theme on this Blog as traditional competitors and assumptions about the photovoltaic market are challenged by new entrants with complementary diversification strengths and new business models.

It is hard to translate NITOL’s contract with GT Solar into annual polysilicon production capacity in metric tons. I have heard from one source that GT Solar's equipment is very expensive.

I must admit the Program for PHOTON EXPO’s 4th Solar Silicon Conference looks very strong. John Mott will be presenting the Solar Grade Silicon Production plans of Solarvalue, while Jan Maurits, VP Operations, Poly Plant Project Inc., USA, will talk about the Design and Process Changes for a Solar Grade Polysilicon Plant among many others.

Despite my prediction in Photovoltaic Conference and Exhibition Preview 2007, I was granted an accreditation for the PHOTON Technology Show 2007 in München. Alas, I was unable to obtain a flight that met my schedule and budget constraints before the Easter Holiday. This means I will miss the joint press conference between Solarvalue AG and Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Limited on April 4, 2007, during the PHOTON EXPO at the M,O,C, Lilienthalallee 40, 80939 München, Germany, Halle 4 (Atrium), 1. OG, Room E 125. As I often say these days, “Bummer, Dude!”



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