Elkem Solar, the new owner of REC Solar, will partially reopen a wafer plant in Porsgrunn, Norway, with the creation of 80 new jobs.
The plant has a capacity of 650MW and employed hundreds of people in its heyday. It closed in 2012.
“This is green restructuring in practice,” said Inge Grubben-Strømnes, CEO, Elkem Solar. “We resumed manufacturing in empty premises, developing renewable technology and create 70-80 new jobs. “The initiative will also provide a dozen indirect jobs, with room for further growth.”
The company said it would assess the plant’s competiveness and make a decision on the need for technical upgrades. Grubben-Strømnes said that upgrades could run into hundreds of millions of Norwegian krone and that the company would look for funding assistance from government sources. One such agency, which specialises in commercial property, is already working with Elkem.
REC Solar was merged with Elkem as part of a US$640 million buyout in November 2014.
Crystalox is currently the only wafer producer in Europe.