Joint Venture to Manufacture Solar Grade Silicon

Advanced Silicon Materials LLC (ASiMI), a subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd. and a manufacturer of polycrystalline silicon, and Silicon Technologies AS, a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Corporation AS (REC) of Norway, have signed a definitive agreement to establish a joint-venture company dedicated to the manufacture and sale of polycrystalline silicon for solar applications.

Tokyo, Japan – September 4, 2002 [] Under the name of Solar Grade Silicon LLC (SGS), the joint venture will start operations with 50:50 equity participation in September. SGS expects to launch production of polycrystalline silicon for solar applications in November of this year, after optimizing the production technologies for polycrystalline silicon licensed by ASiMI for solar applications at the Moses Lake Plant which ASiMI will contribute to the joint venture. SGS also plans to develop fluidized bed technology to produce granular polycrystalline silicon at a lower cost with a targeted completion date of not more than three years. ASiMI will have the right to use the technology in the polycrystalline silicon business for electronic applications. As REC will finance SGS’s technology development program and a majority of its working capital requirements, it is expected that ASiMI’s equity holding ratio in the joint venture will decline in the future, falling to 25 percent in three years.
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