Hemlock Semiconductor, a joint venture of Dow Corning Corporation and two Japan-based firms, Shin Etsu Handotai and Mitsubishi Materials, produces polycrystalline silicon, the cornerstone material used to produce solar cells. The company is eager to expand, and thus meet the rapid growth in demand for polycrystalline silicon. A readily available supply of polycrystalline silicon is essential to continued innovation in the promising solar energy industry.
Hemlock Semiconductor will invest up to $1 billion in the next four years to expand its facility in Hemlock, Michigan. The expanded facility, which is expected to start coming online in 2010, will nearly double the company’s total annual output of polycrystalline silicon.
The expansion is expected to generate up to 270 full-time direct jobs, and an equal number of contracted positions upon completion. Additionally, there will be nearly 800 temporary local construction contractors needed while the expansion is constructed.
Dow Corning’s Midland site, which serves as a major supplier of raw materials to Hemlock Semiconductor, will receive an expansion and upgrades, which will include the hiring of additional employees.
“We received tremendous support from state and local officials, which was key to us locating this expansion here in Hemlock,” said Rick Doornbos, president and CEO of Hemlock Semiconductor. “Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO James C. Epolito were personally involved in supporting this expansion, and we appreciate the attention they gave us. Locally, ThomasTownship, City of Saginaw, Saginaw Future, and many of our state legislators worked hard to help us make this investment attractive. They removed obstacles and opened doors for us.”