The European Investment Bank has approved a long-term €400 million loan to help finance Wacker Chemie’s new Nünchritz (Saxony) polysilicon production facility. The company has budgeted investments totaling some €800 million for the plant, which will have a nominal annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons and will be commissioned in 2011. The facility is expected to create around 450 new jobs.
EIB’s management committee and board of directors have already approved granting of the loan and the contractual details are to be signed in the next few weeks, the company said.
“The EIB’s loan approval is a key component in our financing plan for this strategic growth project,” said Wacker CFO Joachim Rauhut. “It ensures that we retain sufficient financial flexibility–in light of the current difficult economic situation–to move forward with the expansion of our polysilicon production facility as planned.”
Rauhut noted the attractiveness of EIB’s conditions compared to those of conventional bank loans or bonds. “I view the loan’s approval as confirmation of Wacker’s high creditworthiness and as further proof of the close working relationship that we have maintained with the EIB for many years.”
Because of the capacity added at the new plant as well as other ongoing expansion measures at its Burghausen site, Wacker expects its total polysilicon capacity to reach 35,500 metric tons annually, compared to the current level of 15,000 metric tons.
The company said that the expansion will enable it to meet the increasing global demand it expects for hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a sector it sees growing at a double-digit annual clip for years to come.