Timminco to boost metallurgical grade solar silicon production to 14,400 metric tons

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Canada-based
metals feedstock producer Timminco is set to boost metallurgical grade
solar silicon production to 14,400 metric tons annually after its
successful ramp of the first of three 1,200 metric ton lines at its
recently completed plant in Becancour, Quebec.

“In December, less than six months after breaking ground on our 3,600 metric ton solar grade silicon facility, we commenced production and now have all three lines operating,” said Heinz Schimmelbusch, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Timminco. “Before year end, we had also secured four long-term contracts that commit us to supply up to 6,000 metric tons per year of solar grade silicon beginning in 2009. Based on our success to date, as well as a strong pipeline of prospective customers, we made the decision last month to expand our production capacity to 14,400 metric tons annually.”

Becancour Silicon, Inc., its subsidiary responsible for the metallurgical grade solar silicon production, had earlier shipped sample material from its pilot line in 2007 to 27 different potential customers, according to company presentational material.

The company said in its end-of-year financial report that it had also secured contracts with four ‘key customers’ for approximately 28,000 metric tons of solar grade silicon through 2012.

Four additional customers have already signed purchase orders for 2008 covering the remaining available production, indicating that capacity for 2008 is completely sold out.

With an investment of $65 million Canadian Dollars, Becancour Silicon now expects to increase production to 1,200 MT/month by the end of Q2-2009.

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