Jacobs wins contract for polysilicon plant in Italy

JUNE 10, 2008 — /PRNewswire/ — PASADENA, CA — Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has received a contract from Estelux to provide engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services for a new polysilicon manufacturing facility at the existing petrochemical site in Ferrara, Italy.

Estelux is an Italian startup company with a mission to provide first-class polysilicon, strategic to the entire photovoltaic supply chain. SOLON Group, one of the largest European solar module and photovoltaic systems manufacturers, owns shares in Estelux.

Officials did not disclose contract details.

Polysilicon is purified silicon, which is the base of all crystalline silicon photovoltaic cell panels. Estelux’s plant production will cover a fundamental step in an integrated complete photovoltaic supply chain that starts with solar-grade polysilicon production and ends with the installation of photovoltaic systems.

Jacobs will execute the work from its Milan, Italy, office with support from specialist offices in Greenville, SC, and Mumbai, India. Jacobs’ Milan office previously completed the preliminary design of the plant.

The new plant will consist of two production buildings, where the polysilicon production process starts with trichlorosilane decomposition to form silicon rods, with a special closed process system, and a finishing building, with laboratories and control rooms, where the rods are crushed, transformed, and packed in a contamination controlled environment. The facility will have top-class off-gas treatment plants; a high-voltage electrical substation (with transformation and distribution stations for medium and low voltage); a wastewater treatment plant; distillation and fractionation columns; associated utilities; and other infrastructure.

The original and traditional production process called “Siemens process” has been optimized by Estelux Team to achieve a top-class product quality. The plant will reach its full operating capacity in 2010, with a polysilicon production of 4,000 tons per year. The total investment will amount to approximately 360 million euros.

The facility will be built on an area inside the Ferrara petrochemical site. Environmental impacts will be minimized during the demolition and enabling works prior to construction. Design and construction will maximize energy saving through solar panel utilities usage and recycling technologies, as well as sustainable water and rail transportation solutions and logistics issues. The plant’s proximity to the raw material for production limits hazardous materials handling to directly controlled adjacent areas inside the petrochemical site.

Estelux’s CEO Domenico Sartore notes, “Estelux is a pioneer in the photovoltaic and sustainability industry and we are glad to have Jacobs as a partner in this investment because we share the same vision and approach of developing innovative solutions.”

In making the announcement, Jacobs group vice president Robert Matha says, “We are proud to be selected by Estelux for this strategic project. Jacobs is committed to deliver the highest value of service to help them establish a strong market-leader position and satisfy the growing demand for polysilicon-based renewable energy sources.”

About Jacobs Engineering Group
Jacobs, with more than 55,000 employees and revenues exceeding $9.0 billion, provides technical, professional, and construction services globally.

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