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Demand in Solar Energy Industry Drives $400 Million Hemlock Semiconductor Expansion

Dow Corning announces expansion of world’s largest producer of polycrystalline silicon

Hemlock, Mich. — Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation, the world’s leading producer of polycrystalline silicon, will begin construction of a $400-$500 million expansion at its Hemlock, Mich. headquarters in December.  The expansion is driven by increasing demand for polycrystalline silicon, the cornerstone material used in the production of solar cells used to manufacture renewable energy from light rays and semiconductor device manufacturing. 

The Hemlock Semiconductor expansion will increase site capacity by 50 percent, and is expected to generate more than 100-150 full-time direct jobs, and an equal number of contractor positions in the next three years.   Additionally, there will be 400 temporary local contractor jobs created during construction of the expansion.  Phase one of the two-phase expansion project is expected to be completed in January 2008, with a potential second phase concluding a year later.

"It’s exciting to announce this expansion on a number of levels,” said Donald E. Pfuehler, president and CEO of Hemlock Semiconductor.  “Not only will we expand our ability to provide high quality products to solar and semiconductor industry customers, we’ll also be creating a significant number of jobs and improve the economic activity in this region.”

“This expansion will continue to strengthen Hemlock Semiconductor’s presence in Michigan,” Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said, praising the company’s leaders. “The company's decision to grow here is a testament to the state’s leadership in competitive-edge technologies and will create jobs in the high-tech field of alternative energy investment and research.”

Hemlock Semiconductor expects the solar energy industry to grow at a 20-25 percent pace over the next 10 years.  Today, solar energy accounts for approximately 10 percent of all renewable energy produced

“Innovation in the solar energy industry is providing excellent opportunities for businesses, people, and the environment,” said Marie N. Eckstein, Dow Corning’s general manager of Advanced Technologies and Ventures.  “Both Hemlock Semiconductor and Dow Corning will continue to research and develop opportunities to enhance solar technology.”

Upon completion of the expansion, Hemlock Semiconductor will have approximately 500 direct employees and approximately 600 contractor positions.  Pfuehler also said that while Hemlock, Michigan was the preferred location for this expansion several issues needed to be addressed to insure the Hemlock site remained globally competitive.  “We received excellent support from Governor Granholm’s office, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Thomas Township, City of Saginaw, Saginaw Future, Inc., Department of Environmental Quality and Consumers Energy.  We appreciate the support of these groups which enabled our expansion to remain at this site.”

Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation is a joint venture of Dow Corning Corporation and two Japanese firms, Shin-Etsu Handotai Company, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation.   In addition to serving the solar energy market, the company also provides materials used in the production of semiconductor devices used in computers, cell phones and other electronic applications.

Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation ( is the world’s leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductors devices and passive solar cells and modules.  Headquartered in Hemlock, Mich., Hemlock Semiconductor is owned in majority and managed by Dow Corning Corporation.

Dow CorningCorporation ( provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide.  A global leader in silicon-based technology and innovation, offering more than 7,000 products and services, Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated.  More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.

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NOTE TO EDITORS:  Interviews with Hemlock Semiconductor and Dow Corning personnel available upon request.  Pictures of Hemlock facility, Donald Pfuehler, and polycrystalline silicon available by contacting Jarrod Erpelding of Dow Corning.


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