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ReneSola Restarts Sichuan Polysilicon Plant After Upgrades

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Solar-products maker ReneSola Ltd. said it restarted production at its Sichuan polysilicon plant Monday, following upgrades to the plant’s furnaces and hydrochlorination technology intended to help lower production costs.

The Chinese company had halted polysilicon production in November to complete the upgrades, which included new proprietary reduction furnaces and improved proprietary hydrochlorination technology that reduces energy consumption.

ReneSola said in the third quarter, it expects to produce about 1,800 to 2,000 metric tons of polysilicon with a production cost of about $18 a kilogram, compared to about 1,176 metric tons of polysilicon with a production cost of about $24 a kilogram for the same period a year ago.

“Our polysilicon plant upgrades are key to reducing our overall wafer and module production costs, as well as shielding us from volatility in the polysilicon market,” said chief executive Xianshou Li. “We’re confident our expanded, internal polysilicon production will continue to lower our production costs, which will give us an advantage over our competitors and help us deliver positive results to our shareholders.”

As with others in the solar-power industry, ReneSola has seen weakness as tepid demand and oversupply of low-priced solar panels from China have sent wafer and module prices tumbling. However, ReneSola recently saw its revenue strengthen amid an increase in the demand for its high-efficiency solar wafers from customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

In May, ReneSola reported a slightly narrower first-quarter loss as the company reported stronger revenue and lowering operating expenses. The company also provided a current quarter revenue outlook above Wall Street estimates.

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