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Calisolar, a producer of solar and industrial materials, today announced plans to expand the production of its revolutionary low-cost, high-quality solar silicon by building a new 16,000 MT solar silicon production facility in Lowndes County, MS. This facility will build on the success of Calisolar’s solar silicon production facility in Vaughan, Ontario and allow the company to meet the ever-increasing demand for its solar silicon.
At the new facility in Mississippi, Calisolar will produce silicon metal — to be consumed primarily internally — and solar silicon to be sold to the company’s existing and new customers in the solar industry globally. The expansion project will cost approximately $600 million.
Supported by sustained growth in the solar market, demand for Calisolar’s solar silicon is continuing to expand rapidly. Because silicon represents the single largest cost of producing solar modules, Calisolar’s proprietary purification solution will meaningfully contribute to reducing costs in the global solar energy supply chain.
“I appreciate the commitment by Calisolar to locate its solar silicon production facility in Columbus,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “This innovative company will provide high-skilled, high-paying jobs for nearly 1,000 Mississippians, and the company’s decision to locate here further demonstrates our state is a competitive location for advanced manufacturing with advanced materials.”
A significant factor in Calisolar’s decision to build its new facility in Mississippi was the infrastructure and training-focused incentive package approved by the State Legislature. In addition, a previously approved incentive package from the Lowndes County Development Authority, support from the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the local university and education network in the state were positive factors.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations to Mississippi, as Calisolar works to set the industry standard for the future of solar silicon production,” said John Correnti, executive chairman of Calisolar’s Board of Directors. “We’ve demonstrated that our low-cost silicon can produce high-performance solar cells, now sold commercially, which has been an important step in the growth of our company. Now, our focus is on expanding silicon production capacity — where we have the greatest competitive cost advantage — and achieving further cost savings.”
SMS Siemag, a leading technology provider from Germany noted for its metallurgical expertise, will be supplying the majority of the equipment to be installed at the Mississippi facility. San Antonio, Texas-based Zachry Holdings, Inc. will be engineering and building the facility along with several local Mississippi construction firms.
When operational, Calisolar’s Mississippi facility has the potential to catalyze significant economic development for Lowndes County and the state, generating an annual payroll of approximately $42,795,000. The project will also create an estimated 1,000 construction jobs during the peak period of its construction.
“This new facility is a major milestone for our company as we continue to fulfill our mission of becoming the lowest-cost producer of high-quality solar silicon globally,” said Sandra Beach Lin, CEO of Calisolar. “We are grateful to Governor Barbour, the Mississippi State Legislature, the Mississippi Development Authority, and Lowndes County for their collective vision and support for this project. We look forward to building a world-class facility together.”
In addition to Vaughan, Ontario, Calisolar currently operates facilities in Sunnyvale, CA and Berlin, Germany. The Sunnyvale facility has been the company’s primary proving ground for demonstrating the ability of its solar silicon to produce high-performance solar cells, while the facility in Berlin serves as a state-of-the-art research and development center.