GT Advanced sees no gains from China solar power target

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:12pm EST

(Reuters) - GT Advanced Technologies Inc GTAT.O, which produces equipment for solar products makers, said it does not expect to benefit from China's plans to double consumption of solar power as the country already has a surplus of solar products.

China aims to add 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar power capacity this year, the government said last week. The expansion would raise overall capacity to 17 GW, within reach of the country's target of 21 GW by 2015.

"China could double, triple or even quadruple (solar power) consumption and still would not require additional (manufacturing) capacity," GT Advanced Chief Executive Thomas Gutierrez told Reuters on Monday.

"I don't think any of the equipment players will significantly benefit, because there is so much capacity on the ground in China," he said.

GT Advanced makes furnaces, reactors and related equipment used to produce polysilicon, the key raw material used in solar products, as well as equipment to cast silicon ingots used to make solar wafers.

Though China plans to spend billions of dollars to help its solar companies survive a steep slide in prices, there is hardly any incentive for adding new manufacturing capacity, he said.

Chinese solar panel makers, including Trina Solar Ltd (TSL.N) and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co (YGE.N), rapidly scaled up manufacturing capacity late last decade, creating a glut that sent global prices into a tailspin.

Gutierrez said his company had no new orders from China.

Asia, including China, contributed 95 percent of the company's revenue of $955.7 million during the year ended March 2012.

Keeping with the weak demand scenario, GT Advanced's shares have fallen 60 percent over the past year. The stock was down 7 percent at $3.10 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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