(Germany) European Investment Bank Approves €400 M for New Polysilicon-Production Project
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a long-term €400 million loan to finance Wacker Chemie AG’s new Nünchritz (Saxony) polysilicon production facility. The Munich-based chemical company announced the decision today. EIB’s Management Committee and Board of Directors have already approved granting of the loan and the contractual details are to be signed in the next few weeks.
Wacker has budgeted investments totaling some €800 million for its new Nünchritz polysilicon production plant. The facility is expected to create around 450 new jobs.
“The EIB’s loan approval is a key component in our financing plan for this strategic growth project,” said Wacker CFO Joachim Rauhut. “It ensures that we retain sufficient financial flexibility – in light of the current difficult economic situation – to move forward with the expansion of our polysilicon production facility as planned.” At the same time, Rauhut continued, EIB conditions were attractive compared to conventional bank loans or bonds. “I view the loan’s approval as confirmation of Wacker’s high creditworthiness and as further proof of the close working relationship that we have maintained with the EIB for many years,” the CFO stressed.
The new polysilicon facility at the Nünchritz site has a nominal capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year and is set for commissioning in 2011. Thanks to these steps, as well as other ongoing expansion measures at the Burghausen site, Wacker’s polysilicon capacity will reach 35,500 metric tons annually, compared to today’s 15,000 metric tons. This expansion will enable Wacker to meet the increasing global demand it expects for hyperpure polycrystalline silicon. For coming years, Wacker anticipates continued double-digit annual growth in solar-sector polysilicon demand.