Globe Specialty Metals Reopens Silicon Plant

Globe Specialty Metals, a silicon manufacturer, has reopened its plant in Niagara Falls, New York, investing US $27 million and creating 138 jobs as part of the first phase of a $60 million economic development project. The company has restarted its two furnaces and has upgraded the equipment used to produce approximately 30,000 tons of metallurgical grade silicon each year.

Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) created an economic development package in 2008 that provides Globe with 40 megawatts (MW) of hydropower over five years with a potential five-year expansion and up to $25 million in Empire Zone benefits for up to 10 years, subject to achieving specified employment and investment targets.

As part of the agreement, Globe will allow ESD to offer solar cell manufacturers up to 25 percent of Globe’s upgraded metallurgical grade silicon (UMG-Si) production at a reduced price as an incentive to locate to New York State.

Globe’s initial investment of $27 million is part of the first phase of a two-phase project. Phase II of the project will include the construction of a new 100,000-square-foot, $35 million facility in Niagara Falls to convert Globe’s metallurgical grade silicon into 4,000 tons of upgraded metallurgical grade silicon each year — enough to produce 500 MW of solar power modules. The project is expected to create a total of 500 jobs in Niagara Falls.

“This investment, especially at a time like this, demonstrates Globe’s confidence and optimism in the future and resilience of American manufacturing. The reopening of this facility would not have happened without the efforts made by the Governor of the State of New York, Empire State Development, New York Power Authority, Mayor Dyster and several local and state agencies, as well as the strong support received from the local community. This as an example of what can result from the collaborative work of various government, business and community organizations,” said Jeff Bradley, CEO of Globe Specialty Metals.

Earlier this year, Oregon-based SpectraWatt Inc. established its first factory at the Hudson Valley Research Park in Hopewell Junction after receiving an option to purchase 200 metric tons of Globe’s silicon per year. As part of that agreement, SpectraWatt will hire 161 employees and invest over $80 million in its new facility.

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