Silicor nears completion of financing for USD1bn Iceland facility

Silicor’s mega Iceland project has been in the pipeline for over two years, with the company slowly navigating through the various hurdles to get it built. Just last month it announced that it has signed a management contract with high tech project management firm AM Technical Solutions to enable it to stick to the project’s strict deadlines, and now it has announced that financing is almost complete, with another $150 million to go.

The huge 121,000 m2 facility is being built in Grundartangi, Iceland, not far from the country’s capital. It is generating a lot of excitement, as it will be the first commercial-scale site to use Silicor’s unique production process for solar silicon, which it claims it will be able to produce for 40% cheaper than polysilicon products.

Using a metallurgical process to produce the purified silicon, the company claims it will be able to produce the product for less than $10 a kilo compared with about $17 or $18 a kilo for polysilicon, although Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects that this will fall to $15 per kilo by the end of the year.

With most the financing now in place, Silicor confirmed with pv magazine that it expects financing to be fully complete during the first quarter of 2017. “This figure [$1bn] represents the capital expenditure for the plant, in addition to financing fees, start-up costs, working capital, etc,” a spokesperson for the company told pv magazine.

“We have completed nearly all of the pre-engineering work and construction will begin as soon as financing is completed,” the spokesperson continued. “We anticipate supplying silicon to the market approximately 2 years after construction starts.”

With these timelines in place, the company should start supplying the market sometime during 2019. Once fully operational, Silicor expects the facility to be able to produce at least 19,000 MT of solar silicon per year.