Wacker Chemie AG has decided to expand its production facilities for hyperpure polysilicon at its Burghausen and Nünchritz sites in Germany. By taking debottlenecking measures within its integrated production network, it will increase annual quantities at each site by 5,000 metric tons. Thus, Burghausen’s annual capacity will rise from some 32,000 metric tons now to about 37,000. At Nünchritz, the polysilicon facility currently under construction and due to come on stream by year-end was to have a production capacity of around 10,000 metric tons per year. Now, its capacity is increasing to 15,000 metric tons annually. First volumes from these expansion measures are expected to be available in 2012. The debottlenecking involves investments totaling some €130 million.
As already reported, Wacker is also building a new polysilicon-production facility in Cleveland, Tennessee (USA) with an annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Thus, Wacker’s total hyperpure-polysilicon production capacity will increase to 67,000 metric tons by 2014.
The expansion will enable Wacker to meet the continued rising global demand it expects for hyperpure polycrystalline silicon. Wacker has concluded a series of high-volume, multiyear contracts that also involve advance payments by customers for future deliveries. Thus, polysilicon from ongoing production in Burghausen and originally planned capacities in Nünchritz and Tennessee are essentially under contract until 2014.