REC Stops Production at New Polysilicon Plant

Production at REC Silicon’s new polysilicon plant in Moses Lake, Washington (Silicon III) has been stopped for safety reasons. On March 30, REC confirmed that production at Silicon III had started and was ramping up in the initial phase.

The company also said that some interruptions should be expected during the ramp-up. The plant had run continuously for 10 days prior to the decision to stop because of instability in certain operating parameters.

The company said that the total length of the shutdown cannot be determined until real data simulations have been completed and analyzed, and corrective action taken. REC said that it will give an update on the plant on April 29. This could effect REC’s total polysilicon production estimates of 10-11,000 metric tons for the full year 2009.

This facility is one of a number of polysilicon plants that are set to open this year. These openings could bring down the price of solar-grade silicon to a level that will significantly impact module prices and in effect installed costs, making solar energy a more cost effective alternative for businesses, utilities and consumers.

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