Michigan, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The Hemlock Semiconductor group, which includes two Dow Corning Corporation joint ventures, Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor LLC, will invest up to US $3 billion to expand polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) production, a key raw material used to manufacture solar cells and semiconductor devices.
This expansion includes an initial investment of US $1.2 billion to build a new site in Clarksville, Tennessee, and up to US $1 billion to expand current operations in Hemlock, Michigan. Combined, the new Clarksville facility and the expanded Hemlock operations may add up to 34,000 metric tons of polysilicon capacity and ultimately as much as US $3 billion in investments to support the fast-growing solar industry. Construction of both the Michigan expansion and the new Tennessee site will begin immediately.
“This announcement offers solar industry leaders confidence that polysilicon supply will be available as the solar and electronics industries continue to grow and innovate,” said Rick Doornbos, president and CEO of Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation. “The exact scale of this investment will be determined by market conditions. Making this investment in today’s volatile economic climate is a testament to both the long-term outlook of the solar industry, as well as Hemlock Semiconductor’s ability to add capacity to meet the needs of customers.”
Hemlock Semiconductor LLC’s new production facility will be constructed at the Commerce Park site in Clarksville, Tennessee. Initially, this site will have the capacity to manufacture approximately 10,000 metric tons of polysilicon, with the ability to expand production up to 21,000 metric tons. Upon completion of the initial investment, the Clarksville site is expected to employ more than 500 people, and will employ up to 800 when expanded. Construction of the site will employ 1,000 construction workers during the next five to seven years.