RUSSIA SELLS SAND TO CHINA FOR SUN
Silicon is derived from sand but requires sophisticated chemical processing. The worldwide silicon shortage is showing hints of easing as more players enter the field to service superproductive solar panel manufacturers like Trina and more veteran players, like the 7-decade-old Russian firm Nitol, build new facilities to expand their capacities.
Trina Solar Signs Long-Term Supply Agreement with Nitol Group
October 24, 2007 (PR Newswire via CNNMoney)
Trina Solar Ltd (Jifan Gao, CEO), Nitol Group (Dmitry Kotenko, CEO)
Both the red and lite blue n- and p-type semiconductors are commonly made from silicon. (click to enlarge)
Trina signed a 5-year deal for the purchase of enough virgin polysilicon from Nitol to produce solar panels capable of generating 200 megawatts of solar energy.
The deal officially requires delivery by Nitol beginning in 2009 but allows purchase by Trina of unallocated Nitol supplies in 2008.
Trina, listed on the NYSE, is based in Changzou, China, and has customers in Germany, Spain and Italy. Nitol Group is based in Moscow and its production facility is in the Irkutsk region of Russia.
- Nitol is a Russian chemical company currently producing trichlorosilane (the principal source of pure silicon) and is building a polysilicon facility.
- Before this deal,, Trina had secured 60% of its 2008 polysilicon needs.
- Trina’s focus is on the production of monocrystalline ingots, wafers and cells for assembly into solar panel modules.
- Nitol’s focus is entirely on manufacture: trichlorosilane in the presence of hydrogen produces hydrogen chloride and silicon or trichlorosilane in water produces silicone and hydrochloric acid.
The process by which a silicon wafer becomes a solar cell and then a solar panel. (click to enlarge)
- Jifan Gao, Trina: ''The cooperation with Nitol will enhance our production capabilities in the coming years and further our expansion goals…Trina Solar has a great deal of confidence in the success of Nitol's polysilicon production capabilities, as Nitol has the potential to become one of the top global manufacturers of polysilicon.''
- Dmitry Kotenko: ''The Nitol team is very pleased to work with Trina Solar as a long-term partner…Trina Solar is one of the leaders in the PV industry due to its vertically integrated business model and its experienced management team and we intend to grow our business more rapidly with Trina Solar as a customer.''