Schmid Silicon Technology: Schwarze Pumpe production delayed until 2010

“Schmid Pilot Production GmbH (SPP) delayed to optimize the process flow and to react on actual market conditions.”

From SST at PHOTON’s 7th Solar Silicon Conference

As I tweeted earlier this month, Schmid Silicon Technology GmbH (SST) CEO Alexander Berg (please see “Alexander Berg wechselt zu Schmid Silicon Technology (SST)”, Google English) explained the production delay until the beginning of 2010 in his presentation, “Status of Schmid Silicon Technology and the cost potentials”, at PHOTON’s 7th Solar Silicon Conference.

Since his presentation, the March 21, 2009, article “Kläranlage bringt Investor in Nöte” (Google English) by Mirko Kolodziej for the Lausitzer Rundschau indicates permitting delays and the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant requiring cooperation between the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg have caused additional troubles for SPP.

Schmid Silicon Technology laid the cornerstone for Schmid Pilot Production on October 15, 2008, (please see “Grundsteinlegung / Silicon Pilot Production GmbH, SPP”, Google English) and construction of the buildings has made significant progress per company photos. The goal of SPP is to prove Schmid’s Monosilane and Silicon production process concepts and optimize the technologies for offering turnkey solutions to worldwide customers. SPP will have annual production capacities of 540 MT (Metric Tons) Monosilane (SiH4) and 125 MT Silicon. €49 million is being invested in SPP.

Citing the financial crisis and the Photovoltaic market situation, SST decided to optimize the SSP ramp by including the Hydration and Rectification steps in the Monosilane production process thus lowering production costs.

From SST at PHOTON’s 7th Solar Silicon Conference

In the SST Business Plan based on 6000 MT Silicon and 7200 MT Monosilane production capacity per year, Schmid Silicon Technology claims their process has the following production cost potential:

Monosilane 17.22 €/kg
Polysilicon 22.23 €/Kg

While labor and mg-Si costs did not have significant impact on the production cost, scale and energy cost, estimated at a world best in class price of €0.02/kWh though not in Germany, were important factors.

In closing, Mr. Berg said:

  • Production cluster in Schwarze Pumpe, capacities are still available
  • SST is evaluating other regions as well with the selective partners and decisions are expected in coming months
  • Turn key solutions can be offered to interested partners parallel to the actual running projects

Reviewing Mr. Berg’s presentation versus my post, Schmid Silicon Technology: Polysilicon Update, last year and conducting secondary research, I noted:

  • Schmid Silicon Technology appears to have become a separate entity from the Schmid Group. Neither website refers to the other business.
  • SST did not provide an update on metallurgical silicon (mg-Si) production in Kazakhstan disclosed at PHOTON’s 6th Solar Silicon Conference

I expect this will also delay monosilane deliveries to Linde AG (FRA:LIN) per “Linde and Schmid Collaborate to Boost Silane Production”:

Linde will own and operate the silane filling facility with an initial capacity of 300 tpa due on stream in early 2009.

When I inquired, SST customer partner Sunways AG (FRA:SWW) elected to not comment on the Schwarze Pumpe project delay and said:

We currently have no news on the polysilicon production project with Schmid. We are still in a close dialogue with our co-operation partner.

For further German language articles in the Lausitzer Rundschau, please see:

Grundstein für Silizium-Werk ist in der Erde
Startschuss in Silicon-Spree-Valley” by Christiane Klein
Siliziumfabrik entsteht in Spreewitz

Are my microblogging efforts on twitter ( at all useful?


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