HPQ Silicon orders plasma pilot plant for silicon metal
HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSXV: HPQ) announced it has entered into an agreement for the design, fabrication, assembly, and commissioning and testing of a 200 Mt per year pilot project of Purevap™ Quartz Vaporization Reactor (QVR) for the production of high purity silicon metal.
HPQ is 24 to 28 months away from proving the Purevap™ at the pre-commercial level. The design and assembly period is to take 12 to 16 months followed by a 2 month commissioning phase and a 10-month testing phase.
HPQ further reported that it has entered into an agreement with PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSXV: PYR) for the acquisition for the intellectual property rights to the Purevap™ process for use in the production of silicon metal from quartz. PyroGenesis is to retain a royalty-free, exclusive, irremovable worldwide license to use the Purevap™ process for purposes other than the production of silicon metal from quartz.
Mr. Bernard Tourillon, CEO of HPQ: “The disruptive nature of the technology compelled us to take definite steps protect our rights to the acquisition of the property rights to ascertain that we will be able to share the environmental and economic benefits of our technology.”
With an annual market of $US 6 billion, the solar grade Silicon and Polysilicon market is growing at an annual rate of 6% and is expected to double by 2020 to meet growing demand for solar energy.
Solar-grade silicon sells for US$ 12,810 per Mt while Polysilicon sells for US$ 14,860 per Mt. The best-in-class producers show an average cash cost of US$ 10,000 to US$ 13,000 per Mt.
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A new traditional 16 K TPY Solar Grade Si and/or Polysilicon plant requires investments between US$ 900M & US$ 1B but HPQ stated that Capex of a 10K Mt per year of solar grade Silicon and/or Polysilicon is roughly US$ 50 M, which is five percent (5 %) of the cost of current solar grade Silicon and Polysilicon industry Capex.
In turn, Opex is expected at less than 70% of Opex to make solar grade Silicon and/or Polysilicon because of greater energy efficiencies and a lesser carbon footprint.
Earlier in July 2016, the results of multiple lab analyses showed that PyroGenesis’ Purevap™ Quartz Vaporization Reactor (QVR) output at greater than 99.9% purity. This marked a significant threshold in the technology’s path to commercialization and shareholders should pay close attention as the final purity level in ppb (parts per billion) has yet to be determined because the impurities in the samples were below the detection level (1000 ppm or 0.1%) of the first laboratory used of analyses.
HPQ and PyroGenesis have confirmed that the results are in line with the expectations of the technology and the samples have been sent to a second laboratory, in the USA, with more sensitive detection technologies to further determine the grade of the silicon metal produced by QVR.
Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>