Last month, TCL Zhonghuan Renewable Energy Technology (TZE) announced it reached an agreement with GuoTong Trust to sell TZE’s 27% stake in Xinjiang Goens Energy Technology (formally known as Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology). Upon completion of the transaction at the end of this year, TZE will have fully divested its interests in Xinjiang GCL, a polysilicon factory in Xinjiang.
TZE is a major supplier of the largest silicon wafer size (G12) to the global solar cell and panel manufacturing industry. Both Trina Solar and Maxeon have revealed that TZE is one of their suppliers.
Global solar players are trying to distance themselves from the Xinjiang region of China, an area that the United States determined uses slave labor of Uyghurs, an ethnic minority. Last year, the United States passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which bans all imported goods from Xinjiang. China is the world’s leading provider of polysilicon, with much of that production focused in Xinjiang by companies like GCL. To prevent detention of goods by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, solar companies are getting out of Xinjiang. JinkoSolar sold its majority-owned ingot factory in Xinjiang earlier this year.
TZE operates Chinese wafer factories in Tianjin, Jiangsu, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia. Solar Power World is unable to confirm at this moment where TZE is now getting its polysilicon supply.
GCL is the second largest polysilicon producer in the world, according to a ranking by Bernreuter Research. Four of the Top 10 global polysilicon producers have operations in Xinjiang.