The site will be developed in stages
and could potentially hold four production units similar in size of the
factory currently under completion in Moses Lake, Washington, USA.
REC has today decided to establish its next silicon materials
manufacturing expansion in Becancour, Canada and has simultaneously signed
agreements with Hydro Quebec, and Societe du Parc industriel et portuaire de
The agreements outline both the terms and conditions related to
the development of a new production site and other commercial conditions.
“The development of this site will enable us to continue expansion of our
silicon business in the most cost efficient manner and will consequently
support REC’s further growth downstream as well as our ambitious long-term
cost target,” says Erik Thorsen, President & CEO of REC.
The decision on Becancour was made after a comprehensive 17 months’
process involving screening of more than 100 possible locations in 16
countries, followed by due diligence of close to 40 of them and finally
negotiations with a few sites.
As the production of polysilicon is relatively energy intensive, one
important reason for selecting Becancour has been access to stable electricity
supply based on long-term, predictable pricing. Additionally, REC is committed
to limit the environmental impact of producing solar cells and panels, and
therefore prefers electricity supply based on (non-carbon based) renewable
As part of the arrangement with the Government of Quebec, REC will have a
long term power contract with Hydro Quebec at a competitive industrial rate.
The 20 year power contract will provide REC with long-term, clean, renewable
power at a predictable cost in addition to other benefits offered by the
world-class Societe du Parc industriel et portuaire de Becancour (SPIB). The
agreement further assumes that total investments at the SPIB will exceed USD
1.2 billion and that the total number of employees will exceed 300 people.
REC intends to build future production capacities leveraging its latest
technology including more advanced versions of the low cost, proprietary
polycrystalline silicon deposition process based on fluidized bed reactors.
Pre-engineering for the new plant will be concluded within the next six
months, after which the decision on the definite size of the investment will
be made. Current plans call for the site to be developed in several stages
with total potential of four production units similar in size of the factory
currently under completion in Moses Lake, Washington, USA. Total capacity will
be brought on line in accordance with customer agreements and market
conditions. Construction is anticipated to start in 2010 with Phase I
production capacity available in 2012.
“We are pleased to select Becancour as the preferred site for future
silicon materials expansions. We look forward to a long and industrious
relationship between REC and the people of Quebec. During the site selection
and negotiation process, the Government of Quebec, particularly Investissement
Quebec, has proven to be welcoming and encouraging. We also see great
potential in the workforce and complimentary industries in the area,” says EVP
Silicon, Goran Bye.
In connection with this decision, the Premier of Quebec, Jean Charest,
and REC will together host a press conference in connection with the
announcement “Quebec chosen for future silicon expansions.” The press
conference will partly be held in French and English.