We are leveraging our 30 years of experience and expertise in the production of metallurgical silicon to produce and market solar grade silicon (also known as upgraded metallurgical silicon or UMG-Si) for the high growth solar photovoltaic (PV) energy industry. Our proprietary, patents-pending metallurgical processes enable us to purify metallurgical grade silicon into higher purity solar grade silicon for use in the manufacture of solar cells. As the global demand for energy increases, conventional energy prices continue to rise and the world increasingly looks to clean, renewable sources for their energy needs, solar energy has emerged as a viable alternative. As a result, the solar energy industry has experienced massive growth in recent years and is forecast to continue to experience strong growth in the decades to come.
Our proprietary purification processes yield solar grade silicon with a purity level of at least 99.999% (or “5-nines”) and impurity counts of boron and phosphorous that enable it to be used in solar cells, a critical component in solar modules (or panels), which convert solar energy into an electrical current. The purity of our material allows for the production of solar cells by either blending it with polysilicon (historically the primary input in the production of solar cells) or using our material exclusively. As we continue to refine our process and improve the purity of our material, we expect our customers will increasingly use our material in an unblended manner.
Our proprietary process provides us with significant competitive advantages over traditional polysilicon producers:
- Lower operating costs: Our production process is expected to produce solar grade silicon at a cost equal to less than half that of traditional polysilicon producers. This is partly due to a significantly lower volume of electricity used in our purification process.
- Rapid scale-up and lower capital costs: We expect to be able to add production capacity at a significantly faster rate and lower cost than that of traditional polysilicon producers. Whereas polysilicon producers typically require three to four years to meaningfully increase capacity, we can do so in less than a year. Our solar silicon purification facility can also be built for less than 10% of the capital investment made for polysilicon plants for equivalent capacity.
- Synergies with in-house silicon metal production: We expect to benefit from production synergies by having both our silicon metal and solar silicon purification facilities on the same site. Efficiency gains are expected from the use of silicon metal in molten form as feedstock for our solar purification facility, resulting in reduced cycle time and energy costs.
With the advantages of a low-cost structure and rapid capacity scale-up that we expect from our proprietary silicon purification process, we are well positioned to capitalize on the massive growth in the solar PV energy industry.
With the advantages of a low cost structure and rapid capacity scale-up that we expect from our proprietary silicon purification process, we are well positioned to capitalize on the massive growth in the solar PV energy industry.
We are a leader in the production and marketing of lightweight metals, specializing in solar grade silicon for the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic industry.