BEIJING, Oct. 28 -- China only faces potential overcapacity of multi-crystalline silicon from planned projects and working production capacity of multi-crystalline silicon is still in shortage, said Lei Ting, vice president of Suntech Power Holdings, a leading Chinese solar products company.
Speaking at a forum in Xining, capital city of Qinghai province, Lei said that the actual capacities of most recently launched multi-crystalline projects total about 1,500 tons, far less than the 20,000-30,000 tons claimed by themselves.
He predicted that China would produce 30,000 tons of multi-crystalline silicon in 2009, less than domestic demand.
Lei added that Suntech would prefer to purchase multi-crystalline silicon from the domestic market if Chinese manufacturers could meet its demand.
The cost of multi-crystalline silicon could see a further decline due to cheaper transportation costs, according to Lei.
At present, most large-scale solar cell producers rely on imported multi-crystalline silicon, due to earlier long-term supply agreements and inadequate domestic output.
The Chinese government is now stepping up efforts to rein in the rush to launch new multi-crystalline silicon plants in a bid to avoid future overcapacity.
China will produce 140,000 tons of multi-crystalline silicon each year if the multi-crystalline silicon plants under construction or planned are put into full operation. By contrast, world demand for the product is predicted to stand at around 80,000 tons in 2010.