Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG has officially begun construction on a polysilicon-production plant in Cleveland, Tenn., that will create approximately 650 new jobs.
The $1.5 billion plant – which represents the largest investment in the history of the company and its first facility outside of Germany – will produce hyperpure polysilicon, a component used to make high-efficiency solar cells. The facility, which will sit on 550 acres, is expected to be complete by 2013. Once operational, it will have an annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons.
Wacker has manufactured polysilicon for more than 50 years and is one of the world’s largest producers of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon.
The Wacker facility will be the second polysilicon plant in Tennessee: Hemlock Semi-Conductor is currently in the process of building a $1.2 billion plant near Clarksville that will provide polysilicon for solar panels.