Wacker spending €760M to add 10k MT capacity

October 20, 2008 – Wacker Chemie AG has laid out plans to build a new 10,000 metric ton (MT) polysilicon facility (dubbed “Poly 9”) in Nünchritz, Saxony, Germany, with first material to be ready by 1Q11 and full production achieved by the end of that year.

“We expect crystalline solar technology to show continued strong growth and customer demand for polysilicon to remain high,” noted CEO Rudolf Staudigl, in a statement.

Wacker, the No. 2 global polysilicon producer, also said it is increasing its current capacity expansion project at its Poly 8 facility in Burghausen to 10,000 MT, vs. original plans of 7000 MT, at a cost of about €100M and no change to the project’s scheduled full-capacity ramp by 4Q10. With these new and ongoing expansions, the company anticipates it will more than triple its annual output of polysilicon by 2011 to 35,500 MT.

The Nünchritz project is expected to create around 450 new jobs, adding nearly 50% to the site’s current staff. Funding will come partially through the company, and also through “independent credit markets” and state incentives. Integrating the new facility in Wacker’s existing production environment at Nünchritz will enable “closed material loops” for resource efficiency and lower costs, the company noted. And working at Nünchritz instead of a greenfield site will save a year in timeline, and “docking” to existing facilities will eliminate some capex investments, the company said. Investment incentives are forecast to be ~10% of project capex (~€76M).


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