REC Doubles its Production of Solar-Grade Polysilicon

Based on the proprietary technology that Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) developed for production of granular polysilicon, the company will build its third polysilicon plant, which it claims will more than double its production of polysilicon. The total capital requirement for the engineering and construction of the plant is estimated at US $600 million, which is already fully funded under existing loan facilities and equity.

Due to successful test results, REC will immediately commence on more detailed engineering and construction work for the plant that will be located in Moses Lake, Washington. Mechanical completion of the plant is expected by the end of the first quarter 2008, with final completion and ramp-up of production in the third quarter of 2008. The new proprietary reactor technology is based on proprietary Intellectual Property Rights originally developed at REC Advanced Silicon Material LLC and further developed and commercialized at REC Solar Grade Silicon LLC, both of which REC Silicon currently controls 100%. The production technology is based on silane gas and significantly reduces the capital and operating costs from the current levels. “We have run FBR pilot production over the past year and have seen very encouraging results. REC is currently cost competitive in the industry and this investment will further strengthen our position. The feedback we have received from solar cell pilot customers is that the outcome is identical to cells made with regular polysilicon,” said Erik Thorsen, CEO in REC ASA. REC Silicon has put together an experienced project team for the construction of the plant, some of whom were part of the project team that built the REC Advanced Silicon Materials polysilicon plant at Butte, Montana, in 1996-1998. REC’s primary contractor in the expansion project is Fluor Corporation Inc., a large global engineering firm with competencies in refinery and chemical plant design and construction. REC is positioned in the solar energy industry as having a presence across the entire value chain. REC Silicon and REC Wafer are the large global producers of solar grade silicon and wafers for solar applications, while REC Solar produces solar cells and solar modules.
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