WACKER SCHOTT Solar GmbH, a joint venture between Wacker Chemie AG and SCHOTT Solar AG, officially commissioned a new factory building in Jena. The building will be used to produce solar-grade silicon crystals. The new building, which will be fitted with the necessary production equipment in stages, is a key part of WACKER SCHOTT Solar’s ongoing program to expand multicrystalline silicon wafer production. Overall capacity should reach 275 megawatts by the end of this year. The company intends to gradually expand its manufacturing capacity to one gigawatt by 2012. Planned investments of over €300 million in the Jena site are likely to create at least 700 new jobs.
The new Jena production facility will rely on time-tested ingot crystallization technology. This involves melting hyperpure silicon in crucibles and casting multicrystalline silicon ingots by directional solidification. Silicon wafers sliced from these ingots are the starting material for manufacturing high-quality solar cells. The two-story building has roughly 13,500 m2 of floorspace available for production plant.