Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) is building a state of the art polysilicon production plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City. The completion of this plant will be a major milestone for the facilities being built for the Qatar World Cup in 2022. It is intended that the stadiums will use solar power as part of the goal to host a carbon neutral event. QSTec is a joint venture between the Qatar Foundation, Qatar Development Bank and Germany’s SolarWorld, one of the world’s leading integrated solar companies.
The US$1 billion plant will have an initial capacity of 8,000 metric tonnes per year (MTPY) of high grade polysilicon. The plant site covers an area of 1.2 million square meters and is capable of expanding to produce more than 45,000 MTPY as well as having onsite facilities for ingoting, wafer, cell and module production. Construction of the plant is in final stage, with production expected to commence in 2015.
Polysilicon is purified silicon that serves as a raw material to make photovoltaic cells. These cells, when placed together, form a solar panel. Polysilicon plants require hydrochloric acid gas in order to make the very highest quality of polysilicon. High purity is achieved through a chemical process that exposes metallurgical grade silicon to hydrochloric acid.
Due to the toxic nature of hydrochloric acid gas, Senscient ELDSTM HCl technology was evaluated and ultimately selected for its ability to provide best-in-class safety and reliability. Unlike traditional point gas detectors, the Senscient ELDSTM units are HCl-specific. By operating at a single absorption wavelength that means no false alarms from interference gases. The open-path capability of the Senscient ELDSTM technology also makes it far more cost-effective than traditional point gas detectors.