Hemlock Semiconductor Group to Expand Michigan Polysilicon
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
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 additional
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.