In total, the Hemlock Semiconductor group has announced investments of up to
$4.5 billion in the past five years to increase polysilicon capacity to meet
the growing needs of the solar industry. By 2015, the joint ventures will have
increased polysilicon manufacturing capacity by up to 10 times over that
“This announcement offers solar industry leaders confidence that polysilicon
supply will be available as the solar and electronics industries continue to
grow and innovate,” said Rick Doornbos, president and CEO of Hemlock
Semiconductor Group. “The exact scale of this investment will be determined by
market conditions. Making this investment in today’s volatile economic climate
is a testament to both the long-term outlook of the solar industry, as well as
Hemlock Semiconductor’s ability to add capacity to meet the needs of
To execute the Hemlock Semiconductor Group investment, the company’s
shareholders formed Hemlock Semiconductor LLC, a new joint venture that will
manage the Tennessee site. Hemlock Semiconductor Group will continue to manage
the company’s existing Michigan site.
This is the third major expansion announced at the Michigan site in the last
five years. In total, Hemlock Semiconductor Group has committed to invest as
much as $2.5 billion at the site during this time frame. This latest expansion
will add up to 13,000 metric tons of capacity to the site, while creating up to
300 permanent new jobs, as well as keeping more than 800 construction workers
busy during the construction. The Michigan expansion is expected to begin
supplying polysilicon in 2011.
“Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, as well as many key state
legislators and local government officials worked hard to make Michigan an
attractive location for another Hemlock Semiconductor Group expansion,” said
Doornbos. “Hemlock, Michigan, has been our home since our inception more than
40 years ago. It reflects the commitment of our talented employees and the
support of the region that we’re able to make another large investment at the
site,” Doornbos said.
Hemlock Semiconductor LLC’s new production facility will be constructed at
the Commerce Park site in Clarksville, Tennessee. Initially, this site will
have the capacity to manufacture approximately 10,000 metric tons of
polysilicon, with the ability to expand production up to 21,000 metric tons.
Upon completion of the initial investment, the Clarksville site is expected to
employ more than 500 people, and will employ up to 800 when expanded.
Construction of the site will employ 1,000 construction workers during the next
five to seven years.
“We’ve been searching for a location for a new polysilicon facility for some
time, as a second site assures a stable, secure supply of polysilicon,” said
Doornbos. “Governor Bredesen, working alongside a bipartisan team of state and
local officials worked hard to assure that our business needs were met.
Tennessee’s business climate coupled with a superb site in Clarksville, a
strong, productive workforce and an excellent location in proximity to our
supply chain made this the right decision.”
Most of the polysilicon produced by the new facilities will be consumed by
firms in the solar industry; however, both sites will have the capability to
manufacture ultra-pure silicon for the electronics industry as well as
solar-grade material. In solar applications, polycrystalline silicon is the
cornerstone material used to produce solar cells that harvest renewable energy
In June 2008, Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation announced the start-up of
9,000 metric tons of capacity at its newest polysilicon facility located at the
company’s Hemlock site. That expansion was part of a $500 million phased
investment announced in 2005 and 2006. Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation’s
annual capacity will be approximately 19,000 metric tons by the end of 2008,
and the Hemlock Semiconductor Group plans to bring up to 10,000 metric tons of
capacity online each year until the completion of these announced
Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor LLC are joint
ventures of Dow Corning Corporation and two Japan-based firms, Shin-Etsu
Handotai Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation.
About Hemlock Semiconductor
Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation is a
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 Group has been
providing ultra-high purity polysilicon to customers for over 45 years.
Hemlock Semiconductor LLC is a newly formed joint-venture among Dow
Corning Corporation, Shin-Etsu Handotai, and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation.
Hemlock Semiconductor LLC plans to construct and operate a state-of –the-art
facility to produce polycrystalline silicon in Clarksville, Tennessee.
About Dow Corning
Dow Corning Corporation 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
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