Wacker ramps polysilicon production at Nunchritz

Wacker Chemie AG has begun producing hyperpure polycrystalline silicon at its Nünchritz, Germany, site. The location will reach its capacity production, 15,000 metric tons annually, sometime next year.

October 11, 2011 — Wacker Chemie AG has begun producing hyperpure solar-grade polycrystalline silicon at its Nünchritz site, the Munich-based Group announced today. First deposition reactors at the new production complex have already ramped up production of high-quality polysilicon for sale. The full nominal capacity of some 15,000 metric tons annually is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2012. The start of production is three months earlier than WACKER’s original timetable. WACKER has invested about ?900 million in these new production facilities — creating more than 500 jobs.

WACKER decided in March 2011 to increase production output at the Nünchritz site from an initial target of 10,000 metric tons to 15,000 metric tons per year. This rise in capacity will be achieved by taking de-bottlenecking measures within the integrated production network at the site. WACKER?s entire polysilicon output, including that from Nünchritz, is almost completely under contract until the end of 2015.

The new production complex utilizes highly integrated material flows. This means that manufacturing by-products are reprocessed and then reused as starting materials in the value chain. Doing so lowers costs while conserving resources.

WACKER targets to produce more than 33,000 metric tons of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon in 2011, and to this end developed the new production complex in Nünchritz and the polysilicon site currently under construction in Charleston (Tennessee, USA).

Founded as a chemical facility in 1900, the Nünchritz site (see photo above) became part of the WACKER Group in 1998. Approximately ?1.4 billion have been invested in the Nünchritz plant in the meantime, making it one of the world’s largest and most modern production sites for silicones and hyperpure polycrystalline silicon. More than 1,400 people work at WACKER Nünchritz.

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