South African government studies prospects for polysilicon plant

The South African Government, through the Department of Trade andIndustry has issued a Request for Proposal to investigate the viabilityof a polysilicon plant in South Africa.

The purpose ofsolicitation is to provide the background requirements for a study toinvestigate the viability of establishing the polysilicon plant. Thestudy should be done to scoping level of confidence, on all thetechnical, marketing, financial and strategic aspects needed tofacilitate the establishment of a polysilicon plant, at an appropriatesite, in South Africa.

For South Africa, the Government says,the solar photovoltaic market in particular has been facing asignificant challenge due to shortages and allocations of polysiliconover the last few years. The shortage of feedstock between 2004 and2007, reached a critical point, which in turn affected the productionof solar panels and consequently, the industry growth.

Withdemand from the semiconductor and solar energy industries expected togrow by between 5 percent and 9 percent, demand for solar-gradepolysilicon is likely to reach over 40 percent of the total demand in2009-2010, says the South African Government.

The White Paper onrenewable energy (Nov 2003) by the Department of Minerals and Energy,has set a target that 4 percent of South Africa’s power demand shouldbe provided by renewable energy sources, of which solar power isexpected to play a key role.

In order to fulfill this mandate,the establishment of a vibrant local photovoltaic manufacturing andrelated industries will be needed to ensure a competitive solarindustry. Access to sufficient quantities of solar grade polysiliconfeedstock is a key component in the manufacturing of solar panels.

Itis within this framework, and together with its mandate to facilitateindustrial development in South Africa, that the IDC wants to initiatethe Study. Subject to the outcomes and recommendations of the Study,the IDC will engage with appropriate role players/partners tofacilitate the implementation of the Project.

Proposals shouldbe submitted in duplicate all bound in a sealed envelope endorsed"TENDER T30/1009/09 REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL TO INVESTIGATE THE VIABILITYOF ESTABLISHING A POLYSILICON PLANT IN SOUTH AFRICA".

The sealedenvelope must be placed in the tender box at the Main Reception area ofthe IDC Building, 19 Fredman Drive Sandton by no later than 12h00 noonon January 22, 2010.

Source: Solarbuzz

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