Tokuyama (www. tokuyama. co. jp/) is a chemical company involved in the manufacturing of solar-grade silicon, the base material for solar cells. The company is one of the world’s leading polysilicon manufacturers and produces roughly 16% of the global supply of electronics and solar grade silicon. According to the company, Tokuyama had an annual production capacity of 5,200 tons in 2008 and has expanded this to 9,200 tons in 2010. In February 2011, the company broke ground for a new 20,000 ton facility in Malaysia. The first phase with 6,200 tons should be finished in 2013.
A verification plant for the vapour to liquid-deposition process (VLD method) of polycrystalline silicon for solar cells has been completed in December 2005. According to the company, steady progress has been made with the verification tests of this process, which allows a more effective manufacturing of polycrystalline silicon for solar cells.
Tokuyama has decided to form a joint venture with Mitsui Chemicals, a leading supplier of silane gas. The reason for this is the increased demand for silane gas, due to the rapid expansion of amorphous/microcrystalline thin-film solar cell manufacturing capacities.