REC reduces poly production at US facility

11. January 2013 | Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Max Hall

The polysilicon pricing woes that have beset Norwegian manufacturer Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) for the past few years have prompted the company to reduce production at one if its two U.S. facilities.

REC Heroya.

The Heroya photovoltaic wafer production facility in Norway which REC was forced to close.

Some 46 jobs are likely to go as a result of what the company is calling a 'temporary' reduction in output of 2,400 MT of Siemens-based solar grade chunk material, produced at its Polysilicon I facility at Moses Lake, Washington.

"To remain competitive, the organization in Moses Lake has worked very hard this past year to drive operating costs down, but under these current economic conditions it is not viable to continue production when market prices for the Siemens solar chunk product have fallen well below the cost to produce it," said Tore Torvund, president of REC's Silicon division.

In a press release announcing the reduction, the company stressed that REC Silicon will attempt to redeploy some of the workers affected, elsewhere in its operations.

REC stressed that its other U.S. production facility – which uses the company's fluid bed reactor technology to produce solar polysilicon and manufactures electronic grade polysilicon at Butte, Montana – would remain at its current 20,000 MT capacity.

The plummeting price of solar grade polysilicon globally saw REC close down its Norwegian production facilities in 2011 and 2012.

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