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2008.12.15
Dow Corning Announces Multi-Billion Dollar Investments to Serve Emerging Global Solar Power Industry

Investment provides critical raw materials to solar cell manufacturers.

Polycrystalline siliconeDow Corning Corporation announced today several billion dollars of investment to provide critical materials to the fast-growing solar technology industry.

“Dow Corning and our Hemlock Semiconductor joint ventures hope to create a viable solar industry that produces new, high paying jobs, clean power technologies and a revitalized economy,” said Stephanie A. Burns, Dow Corning’s chairman, president and CEO.  “We’re committing our resources, know-how and technology because we are confident that solar technology represents a tremendous opportunity for both clean energy and economic growth.”

Dow Corning will begin manufacturing high purity monosilane, a key specialty gas used to manufacture thin-film solar cells and liquid crystal displays (LCDs). This investment includes construction of a new monosilane manufacturing facility in Hemlock, Michigan, adjacent to Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation’s polysilicon manufacturing site. 

 “This significant investment to become a leading supplier of monosilane for thin film solar technology will expand our feedstock offering and will further reinforce our position as a value-added material supplier to the solar industry,” said Eric Peeters, global executive director, of Dow Corning Solar Solutions.

The investment also includes up to $3.0 billion at Dow Corning joint ventures Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor LLC.  The companies will expand Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation’s existing Michigan manufacturing facility and build a new site in Clarksville, Tennessee to increase manufacturing capacity for polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) – the cornerstone material used to manufacture most solar cells.

Construction of both the polysilicon expansions and the new monosilane site will begin immediately.

These announcements solidify Dow Corning’s significant role in the development of the two most common types of solar cells; crystalline-based and thin-film solar cells.  Crystalline-based solar cells use sliced polysilicon as its main semi-conducting material.  Thin-film solar cells are made by depositing a thin film of silicon, enabled by monosilane, onto a sheet of another material such as glass.

“The opportunity and need for solar energy is so great, there will be a need for many solar technologies to flourish to meet global demand,” said Peeters.  “Dow Corning intends to offer options across the entire array of solar technologies, allowing our customers to innovate freely.”

Other recent solar-related announcements by Dow Corning include:

About Dow Corning

Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s DOW CORNING® and XIAMETER® brands.  Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.

Link to a fact sheet, photos and other information on our PR Newswire press release.  

For further information, please direct inquiries to one of our media representatives.

 


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