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Hemlock Semiconductor Group has begun operation of a new 8500-metric-ton polysilicon production facility several months ahead of schedule. The plant, located in Hemlock, MI, is the first phase of a planned $1 billion expansion at the site.
The company says the second phase of this capacity expansion will start to become operational in 2010 and, together with the initial phase, will increase the total annual capacity onsite to approximately 36,000 metric tons.
Excavation has already begun on the site of Hemlock's new polysilicon manufacturing facility in Clarksville, TN, according to the company. Construction will soon begin on plant, which is scheduled to come online in 2012.
Hemlock has announced investments totaling more than $4 billion over the past five years, moves that will expand the company's capacity by nearly 10 times while creating more than 1500 new jobs.
"The new capacity from our latest expansion is a critical milestone to ensure our customers' confidence that they will have the silicon feedstock needed for the semiconductor and fast-growing solar energy industries," said Rick Doornbos, Hemlock's president/CEO. "It takes a tremendous team effort to be able to deliver an expansion of this magnitude ahead of schedule, and we’re very proud of our team for making it happen."
"Despite the economic recession, the long-term outlook for the solar market remains strong," he continued. "Our demonstrated capabilities to deliver recent capacity expansions on or ahead of schedule and our more than 40 years of technical and manufacturing experience puts Hemlock Semiconductor in a strong position to help our customers succeed in an industry that continues to show promise and growth."