Wacker to build €1.1 billion polysilicon production facility in US

An investment of around €1.1 billion has been planned for the expansion, and it is hoped around 650 new jobs will be created.

The facility will be built on property acquired by the company early last year, and annual capacity is expected to reach 15,000 metric tons. Completion of the project is scheduled for 2013.

Wacker added that the facilities will be based on closed-loop material recycling for the entire polysilicon-production supply chain. This spans from the production of trichlorosilane feedstock and deposition of hyperpure silicon, through to facilities to recycle resultant byproducts and auxiliary materials.

Rudolf Staudigl, CEO of Wacker Chemie AG commented: “We are convinced that our customers’ demand for top-quality polysilicon will continue to increase in coming years, as our material enables them to manufacture solar cells with high energy yields. Moreover, these additional production capacities outside the eurozone help to make us more independent of exchange-rate fluctuations.”

The production site was chosen, said the company, for its infrastructure and competitively priced power. Over-the-fence supply of chlorine and transportation infrastructure also reportedly made Cleveland an attractive location.

Additionally, Wacker said it has received “outstanding” support in Tennessee from local authorities and business partners. The incentive package associated with site construction is said to include provision of the necessary transportation links, as well as reliable water and electricity supplies.