Oslo, April 26, 2007: Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has decided to invest USD 485 million in additional 9,000 MT of silane and 6,000 MT of polysilicon capacity in the U.S., and NOK 200 million in additional 50 MW wafer capacity in Glomfjord, Norway.
To fuel further growth, REC is continuously working on plans for production expansion. REC has therefore decided to invest approximately USD 485 million (NOK 2.9 billion) in new production capacity that should generate approximately 9,000 MT of silane gas and 6,000 MT of polysilicon from the start of 2010.
As a result of these capacity increases, the annual production capacity for REC Silicon is expected to be approximately 29,000 MT of silane gas and 19,500 MT of polysilicon in 2010.
The new silane gas facility will be built as a 'blue print' of the silane unit which is already under construction in Moses Lake, Washington. The new polysilicon capacity will be built through (i) modification of the Siemens reactors, which are not included in the ongoing de-bottlenecking project, at the plant in Butte, (ii) through improved productivity of the FBR reactors currently under construction, and (iii) through additional FBR reactor capacity, if needed.
Combined with reduced energy consumption, the production increase is expected to reduce the unit cost at the Butte plant with approximately 15 percent, in addition to targeted cost savings of close to 20 percent from the ongoing de-bottlenecking program.
"We continue to see a positive demand for our products. With our new proprietary and cost efficient granular polysilicon production technology, further expansions within polysilicon production will contribute to continued cost reductions, through both additional de-bottlenecking and more FBR capacity", says Erik Thorsen President & CEO.
REC will also increase the wafer production capacity at the Glomfjord plant, through a NOK 200 million investment in new production equipment and support systems. The equipment installations will be carried out over the coming twelve months, enabling ramp-up of the additional 50 MW capacity from the end of the second quarter of 2008. The ramp-up to full capacity is expected to take only 6 months and will bring the Glomfjord plant to more than 250 MW, dependant on product mix.
"With the additional polysilicon, we can further expand our manufacturing capacity for wafers, resulting in improved operational efficiency and reduced unit cost. This increased production will also provide us with additional opportunities within cells and modules", says Erik Thorsen
Including the already ongoing and approved expansions, and based on constant cell efficiency of 15 percent, the total production for REC Wafer is expected to be around 1,400 MW in 2010.
REC is uniquely positioned in the solar energy industry as the only company with a presence across the entire value chain. REC Silicon and REC Wafer are the world's largest producers of polysilicon and wafers for solar applications. REC Solar produces solar cells and solar modules. REC Group had revenues in 2006 of NOK 4,334 million and an operating profit of NOK 1,574 million. Please also see www.recgroup.com
For more information, please contact;
Erik Thorsen, President & CEO, +47 90 75 66 85
Jon Andre Løkke, SVP & Investor Relation Officer, +47 67 81 52 65