Hemlock Semiconductor Grows Polysilicon Operations

Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation, manufacturer of polycrystalline silicon, will invest up to $1 billion over the next four years to increase by 90 percent its total annual output of polycrystalline silicon at its Hemlock, Michigan, facility.

The expansion to produce 36,000 metric tons is expected to start coming online in 2010. “Our customers in the solar and semiconductor industries have a critical need for more of our materials,” said Rick Doornbos, president and CEO of Hemlock Semiconductor. “This is the largest expansion in the history of this industry, and is indicative of our long-term commitment to meeting the needs of our customers.” The expansion of Hemlock Semiconductor, a joint venture of Dow Corning Corporation and two Japan-based firms, Shin Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, will add up to 17,000 metric tons of polycrystalline silicon suitable for both the solar and semiconductor markets. “We received tremendous support from state and local officials, which was key to us locating this expansion here in Hemlock,” said Doornbos. “Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO James C. Epolito were personally involved in supporting this expansion, and we appreciate the attention they gave us. Locally, Thomas Township, City of Saginaw, Saginaw Future, and many of our state legislators worked hard to help us make this investment attractive. They removed obstacles and opened doors for us,” Doornbos said. “The solar energy industry is growing at a tremendous pace,” said Marie N. Eckstein, Dow Corning’s vice president and general manager of Advanced Technologies and Ventures. “A readily available supply of polycrystalline silicon is essential to continued innovation in this promising alternative-energy industry.”

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