After standing dormant since 2018, REC Silicon’s factory in Moses Lake, Washington, is once again processing granular polysilicon. The company released an update to shareholders on the factory’s restart last month.
Initial startup began in late October, and the company’s Silane III unit came online to produce the first granular polysilicon at the site in five years. REC Silicon will continue to bring capacity online while stabilizing each step. Full capacity should be reached in Q4 2024.
“Our focus is on stability and increasing capacity utilization as soon as practical. Our employees’ experience in starting up and operating complex continuous chemical processes meshed with continuous polysilicon processes is directly indicated in where we are right now,” said Kurt Levens, REC Silicon CEO.
First deliveries of high-purity granular polysilicon should start in Q1 2024. Hanwha Solutions has signed on to purchase 100% of REC Silicon’s production for the next 10 years. Hanwha intends to use the polysilicon supply at the Qcells ingot, wafer, cell and panel factory currently under construction in Georgia. That factory is expected to ramp production in late 2024.
Continuing the American supply chain trend, REC Silicon is accessing high-purity silicon metal from Ferroglobe’s plants in Alabama, Ohio and West Virginia, and from Mississippi Silicon’s factory in the South.
A byproduct of polysilicon production is silane gas, and REC Silicon could potentially supply that valuable material to battery manufacturers for anodes. No supply agreements in that area have been announced.