REC Silicon celebrates expansion and job creation

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Sen. Maria Cantwell and elected officials highlight innovative solar technology during Grand Opening

 

Moses Lake, Wash. - REC Silicon - one of the world's largest producers of silicon materials and manufacturer of solar, electronic grade polysilicon and silane gas - celebrated the recent expansion of its operations with a grand opening and plant tours on Monday.

 

"During difficult economic times, REC Silicon is growing," said Tore Torvund, President of REC Silicon. "We have added jobs to Central Washington and helped pioneer new technology that makes solar energy more affordable."

 

Headquartered in Moses Lake, Washington, and with additional operations in Butte, Montana, REC Silicon produces the raw materials used to make products like solar panels, hybrid vehicle electronics, MP3 players, flat screen TVs, laptops, digital cameras and more.

 

The Grand Opening marked the completion of a $1.7 billion expansion. With the additions of Silicon III and Silicon IV, REC Silicon's polysilicon and silane production have significantly increased, further solidifying the company's position as a world leader in each of these areas.

 

The expansion is about more than adding capacity. The company has invested significant money and time in developing the new Fluid Bed Reactor (FBR) technology, which is the method used for producing granular polysilicon in Silicon III. This ground-breaking technology is lowering the production cost of polysilicon, making solar energy a more affordable alternative.

 

 

On Monday, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., joined other statewide elected officials in a ribbon-cutting to honor the expanded Silicon III and Silicon IV plants.

 

"Today's celebration marks a significant milestone for REC Silicon and for Washington state as a whole," Senator Cantwell said. "REC's recent expansion in operations has brought hundreds of permanent, high-paying jobs to Central Washington and lays a foundation for future economic prosperity.  I believe that with the right government policies and incentives, combined with the right private sector innovation and investment, the United States will become the leader in the largest market opportunity of the 21st century - clean energy."

The establishment of Silicon III and Silicon IV not only created permanent jobs in the Moses Lake area; it also generated several hundred temporary jobs during the period of construction. During the last five years, REC Silicon has doubled the number of permanent employees in Moses Lake.

 

The construction of Silicon III resulted in a peak of 1,875 contract jobs in Moses Lake. Silicon IV's construction peaked at 800 jobs, between employees and construction.  In fact, Cantwell noted, "The job-creation doesn't stop at REC Silicon's gates. Every REC employee supports almost three other Washington state jobs."

For more information:

Anne Ekern, Director of Communications, REC Silicon,
Tel:  +1 (509) 760-0014

Sharon Palmerton, Head of Community Affairs, REC Silicon
Tel: +1 (509) 760-6314

About REC
REC is a leading vertically integrated player in the solar energy industry. REC is among the world's largest producers of polysilicon and wafers for solar applications, and a rapidly growing manufacturer of solar cells and modules. REC is also engaged in project development activities in selected PV segments. Founded in Norway, REC is an international solar company, employing close to 4,000 people worldwide. REC had revenues in excess of NOK 9 billion in 2009.  Please visit www.recgroup.com to learn more about REC.