Sandvika, February 9, 2009: The weld repair work announced on December 15, 2008 will be completed early this week. The extent of repairs was almost double of what was projected, and have consequently taken much longer than expected.
Following the completion of the repairs, a final process of systems checks and start-up procedures will be initiated, before the plant is expected to start commercial production in the second half of March. This revised start-up schedule should have limited negative effect on the production level further downstream in REC in the first quarter as long as external sourcing of polysilicon continues successfully.
"As previously stated, start-up and ramp-up of a large chemical plant is a complex task, and some interruptions should be expected in an early phase. We hope, however, that our extensive testing and preparations will reduce this risk to some extent", says Erik Thorsen, President & CEO.
Despite the delayed start-up, and based on a smooth ramp-up of the new plant, total targeted production for 2009 should end in the range of 10,000 - 11,000 MT.
An update will be given when the company presents its interim results for the fourth quarter 2008 on February 18, 2008.
REC is uniquely positioned as one of the most integrated companies in the solar energy industry. 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 and engage in project development activities in selected segments of the PV market. REC Group had revenues in 2007 of NOK 6,642 million and an operating profit of NOK 2,588 million. Please also see www.recgroup.com