- GCL Technology plans to venture beyond China to establish its 1st polysilicon manufacturing fab outside the home turf, reported Bloomberg
- Unlike many others, it sees solar manufacturing in the US as an expensive affair despite the IRA incentives
- The Chinese manufacturer is reportedly more interested in exploring Europe, the Middle East and BRICS nations for a suitable site
One of the leading global suppliers of polysilicon, China’s GCL Technology Holdings is not enticed by the financial incentives offered by the US government through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as it is keener to look elsewhere to establish its maiden polysilicon fab outside China, according to Bloomberg.
Speaking to the media group, GCL’s Joint-CEO Lan Tianshi reportedly cited high manufacturing costs in the US that makes it ‘at least 5 times more expensive than in China’ for the decision to not target the North American country in its expansion plans.
The Chinese company operates 185,000 MT polysilicon capacity of which 140,000 MT is granular silicon. It also has 55 GW silicon wafer and 45,000 MT Siemens rod silicon production capacity at the end of 2022. All of its 10 production facilities are located in China.
Additionally, Tianshi complained to Bloomberg about construction times being ‘bogged down by regulatory requirements’ in the US. The group is instead more interested in exploring Europe, the Middle East and the BRICS nations.
The idea is to enter the finally chosen destination in a joint venture with a local player, the announcement of which is expected by year-end. Decision to expand beyond China is to capitalize on higher prices of polysilicon outside the Asian nation, added Bloomberg.
Increased selling prices for polysilicon in 2022 boosted GCL’s annual revenues by 113% to RMB 35.9 billion and its gross profit swelled 213.9% to RMB 17.5 billion. In its annual report for last year, GCL stressed on low-carbon manufacturing technology and for Chinese companies to accelerate the strategic layout of their overseas production capacity in the face of protectionist policies in the US, European Union and India (see GCL Technology 2022 Revenues Up 113% YoY).
Nonetheless, GCL’s compatriots JA Solar and LONGi see potential in the US as a manufacturing destination as these have announced plans to establish 2 GW and 5 GW production fabs in the US, respectively (see LONGi Partners For 5 GW US Solar Module Fab). And so do many others.
The US has become the hotbed of solar manufacturing initiatives ever since the IRA was passed. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), 25 manufacturing facilities have been announced across the US supply chain since the act was passed representing more than 105 GW manufacturing capacity (see US DOE RFI For Solar Manufacturing Workforce).