Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能科技), the nation’s biggest solar wafer maker, yesterday said eased oversupply helped to stabilize prices and boost orders, which was a positive sign that the company would be able to narrow its losses this quarter.
An industrial slump has sent the company into loss-making territory since the second quarter of last year, after major solar markets in Europe cut their subsidies, which in turn froze demand.
Green Energy posted a quarterly loss of NT$850 million (US$28.73 million) last quarter, down from a NT$1.84 billion loss in the final quarter of last year.
“We are seeing demand out there [this quarter],” company president Lin Hur-lon (林和龍) told reporters. “Our average selling price is holding steady this month after a slight [monthly] drop last month.”
Global solar wafer capacities would reach about 30 gigawatts this year, which would be higher than the market demand of 25 gigawatts and would help boost demand for Green Energy’s solar wafers, Lin said.
This month, Green Energy expects shipments to reach 30 million units as its factories were again running at a full utilization rate, he added.
One more positive sign for a shrinking quarterly loss was that Green Energy would save more on costs this quarter, helped by the falling price of a key raw material, polysilicon. Lin said the price of polysilicon dropped 10.71 percent to about US$25 per kilogram this quarter, from US$28 last quarter.
To boost its capacity at lower cost, Green Energy was scouting for idle solar wafer plants in China from which to rent facilities and equipment in future, Lin said.
“In that case, we do not have to book depreciation costs for equipment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Green Energy expects that the preliminary ruling by the US government last week to impose a 30 percent punitive import tariff on Chinese solar cell module makers would result in a short-term lift to local solar companies.
Lin said Green Energy was mulling an uptick, if the ruling prompted a price increase on Green Energy’s local solar cell clients. Taiwanese solar cell makers are expected to win more orders from Chinese solar cell module makers, which were seeking solar cell suppliers from outside China to circumvent the heavy US import tariff.
However, he said the visibility was vague for next quarter.