The Hemlock Semiconductor Group celebrated the beginning of construction at its recently developed site in Clarksville, Tennessee today, and gave guests a glimpse of what the new facility will look like when completed in 2012.
With an investment of up to $1.2 billion, 500 full-time jobs, and more than 800 construction jobs, Hemlock Semiconductor's new facility will increase polycrystalline silicon production to meet the needs of the growing solar industry.
"The State of Tennessee has enthusiastically embraced our company and the alternative energy industry," said Rick Doornbos, president and CEO of Hemlock Semiconductor. "Governor Bredesen's forward thinking initiatives around solar in combination with Tennessee's attractive business climate, access to lower cost energy and a talented workforce reaffirm Hemlock Semiconductor's decision to locate here."
Doornbos along with Governor Phil Bredesen and Dr. Stephanie Burns, chairman, president and CEO of Dow Corning, Hemlock Semiconductor's majority shareholder, delivered formal remarks at the Commerce Park location in Clarksville-Montgomery County. Doornbos, the Governor, and Burns also unveiled an architectural drawing of the site and the new street name "Solar Way" which will lead to Hemlock Semiconductor's new polysilicon manufacturing facility.
Total construction time for the entire project is estimated to be nearly three years. The site will contain over 150,000 cubic yards of concrete, 20,000 tons of structural steel, and more than one million feet of piping, which equates to 1.3 miles of piping installed per week.
"The size and scope of a $1 billion project is awe-inspiring," said Doornbos. "But it is more than just the steel, concrete and piping that will create a strong business foundation. It is the contributions of the Hemlock Semiconductor employees in Clarksville that will continue to advance our position as a market leader in polysilicon production."
Prior to this event the state of Tennessee and the Montgomery County Industrial Development Board were managing site preparations. The site was formally handed over to Hemlock Semiconductor in late October.
The celebration event comes on the heels of a July groundbreaking at Austin Peay State University for a new state-of-the-art chemical engineering technology building, of which, Hemlock Semiconductor contributed $2 million for laboratory equipment. A new associate's degree program, recently approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents, will train future chemical process operators for the new site and other industries in the region.
Hemlock Semiconductor is continuing the process of qualifying suppliers of material and labor and will continue to expand its contractor base over the coming months. Interested parties should visit http://www.hscpoly.com and complete the Vendor/Supplier inquiry form.
When completed, this new site will employ approximately 500 people. Job postings will be listed at hscpoly.com. The types of positions that will be available are as follows:
- degreed and experienced chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineers,
- experienced and certified journeypersons in various skilled trades disciplines, including: electrical, instrumentation, power pack/power distribution, process information control systems, pipefitters/welders, millwrights, and machinist trades,
- specially-trained chemical process operators.
Initially, the new site will have the capacity to manufacture greater than 10,000 metric tons of polysilicon, with the ability to expand production up to 21,000 metric tons. Most of the polysilicon produced at this facility will be consumed by firms in the solar industry.