Expansion largest ever in polycrystalline silicon
Hemlock, Mich. - Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation, the world’s
leading producer of polycrystalline silicon, will invest up to $1 billion in
the next 4 years to expand its Hemlock, Mich. facility. The
expansion, which is expected to start coming online in 2010 will increase the
company’s total annual output of polycrystalline silicon to 36,000 metric tons,
an increase of 90 percent.
“Our customers in the solar and semiconductor industries have a critical
need for more of our materials,” said Rick Doornbos, president and CEO of
Hemlock Semiconductor. “This is the largest expansion in the history of
this industry, and is indicative of our long-term commitment to meeting the
needs of our customers.”
The expansion will add up to 17,000 metric tons of polycrystalline silicon
suitable for both the solar and semiconductor markets. This is the second
major investment the company has announced in the past 18 months. In
November 2005, Hemlock Semiconductor announced a nearly $500 million expansion
that is under construction. It is on schedule for start-up and is
expected to come on line in early 2008.
Hemlock Semiconductor, a joint venture of Dow Corning Corporation and two
Japan-based firms, Shin Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials
Corporation, is the world’s largest manufacturer of polycrystalline
silicon. In solar applications, polycrystalline silicon is the
cornerstone material used to produce solar cells that harvest renewable energy
from light rays.
“The solar energy industry is growing at a tremendous pace,” said Marie N.
Eckstein, Dow Corning’s vice president and general manager of Advanced
Technologies and Ventures. “A readily available supply of polycrystalline
silicon is essential to continued innovation in this promising
The expansion is expected to generate up to 250 full-time direct jobs, and
an equal number of contracted positions upon completion.
Additionally, there will be nearly 800 temporary local construction contractors
needed while the expansion is constructed. Dow Corning’s Midland site,
which serves as a major supplier of raw materials to Hemlock Semiconductor,
will receive an expansion and upgrades, which will include the hiring of
Hemlock Semiconductor began a formal search for additional expansion options
and locations in mid-2006. The Hemlock site was chosen for its next
expansion as it provided the fastest time-to-market, lower capital costs, and
the ability to leverage the company’s skilled employee base.
“We received tremendous support from state and local officials, which was
key to us locating this expansion here in Hemlock,” said Doornbos.
“Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development
Corporation CEO James C. Epolito were personally involved in supporting this
expansion, and we appreciate the attention they gave us. Locally, Thomas
Township, City of Saginaw, Saginaw Future, and many of our state legislators
worked hard to help us make this investment attractive. They removed
obstacles and opened doors for us,” Doornbos said.
Hemlock Semiconductor will continue efforts to search for a potential new
green-site location. A global search for the new facility remains a top
priority project for the company as high demand for Hemlock Semiconductor’s
materials is expected to continue.
“As the leading manufacturer of polycrystalline silicon, we serve customers
throughout the globe. In this period of strong growth in the solar industry, we
need to identify the best global site for future expansions so can continue to
move rapidly to meet our customers’ needs,” said Doornbos.
Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation (www.hscpoly.com) 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 by Dow Corning Corporation.
Dow CorningCorporation (www.dowcorning.com) 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, Rick
Doornbos, and polycrystalline silicon available by contacting Jarrod Erpelding
of Dow Corning.
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