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Hemlock Semiconductor
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News

2007.05.02
Hemlock Semiconductor Group to Expand Michigan Polysilicon Operations

Expansion largest ever in polycrystalline silicon manufacturing

Hemlock Semiconductor Group, 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 alternative-energy industry."

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 additional employees.

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 Group (www.hscpoly.com) is the world's leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and passive solar cells and modules. Headquartered in Hemlock, Michigan, Hemlock Semiconductor is owned in majority and managed by Dow Corning Corporation.

Dow Corning Corporation (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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