We are the world`s largest manufacturer of solar wafers in terms of capacity, according to Solarbuzz. We have established a large-scale wafer manufacturing facility with an annual manufacturing capacity of approximately 3.0 GW as of December 31th, 2010. Our leading position has enabled us to form strong strategic relationships with our customers, including key cell and module players in the industry. Such strategic relationships have helped us gain feedback to optimize our manufacturing process, advance our technology and enter into more long-term contracts. Leveraging our scale and market position, we are able to procure advanced production equipment on favorable terms.
We believe our production is cost-effective due to our efficient production process, China-based manufacturing facilities and R&D, and economy of scale. For our wafer business, we have developed processing technologies to reduce our production costs at each step of the production process, which include recycling more polysilicon, producing bigger ingots, increasing wafer size, reducing wafer thickness, recovering slurry and increasing production yield. For our polysilicon business, our in-house production of most of the raw materials, low energy consumption and costs, and large scale will allow us to produce polysilicon cost-effectively. By producing all of our products in China, we are able to benefit from competitively priced labor, land, ancillary equipment, facilities, consumables and utilities. We also benefit from reliable and relatively low-cost electricity at our manufacturing sites in China. Our R&D efforts are aimed at achieving both near-term production process efficiency improvements and long-term technological achievements through our collaboration with leading universities.
In-House Polysilicon Production
Polysilicon is the biggest cost component for manufacturing wafers. Polysilicon production is also the most complicated step in the solar value chain compared to wafer manufacturing, cell or module manufacturing, system integration and project development. By having our own in-house polysilicon capabilities, we are able to reduce material costs, maintain quality control, ensure availability and reduce the overall time in our production process. We also produce most of the chemicals and gases that are required to produce polysilicon such as TCS, HCl and hydrogen. We are in the process of expanding our polysilicon facilities and expect to increase our total production capacity to 18,000 metric tons by the end of 2011.
Vertically Integrated Capabilities
Along with our polysilicon and wafering capabilities, we also sell modules and perform system integration in China. In February 2010, we acquired the crystalline module manufacturing plant of Best Solar. We believe our vertically integrated business model provides a more streamlined and efficient production process, shorter production cycles, better quality control and lower costs when compared to less vertically integrated solar companies. We believe our vertically integrated model has improved our margins and helped reduce negative pressure on margins from recent changes in industry dynamics. Depending on market conditions, we have the flexibility to buy and sell solar products along the value chain to maximize our revenue and net profit.
Strong and Diversified Customer Base
We have established a number of long-term relationships and sales arrangements with key players in the PV industry. Our current customer base consists of some of the major international players in the PV cell and module manufacturing sectors, including CSI, E-Ton, Gintech, Hyundai, Motech, Neo Solar and Q-Cells. Our revenues are also diversified geographically around the world.
Maintain our cost leadership position.
Continue to expand and strengthen our in-house polysilicon capabilities.
Continue to vertically integrate our capabilities downstream.
Further expand module business by building out sales, marketing and development teams.
Establish long-term partnerships with global players throughout the entire solar value chain.