U.S. company Silicor Materials confirmed in a press release on Tuesday its plans to open its first large-scale solar silicon production facility at the port of Grundartangi in Hvalfjörður fjord, West Iceland, near the Century Aluminum smelter.
Silicor Materials, Inc. is said to be the lowest cost manufacturer of high-quality solar silicon and a producer of aluminum by-products. “Strong, swift interest,” from investors is anticipated, the press release reads.
The project may create as many as 400 jobs in the production facility and 100 additional jobs, while the plant is being constructed.
“When we consider the potential sites for our first commercial-scale plant, Iceland is a leading candidate for a number of reasons,” said Theresa Jester, CEO of Silicor Materials.
“In addition to its world-class manufacturing and transportation infrastructure, the country provides low-cost renewable energy, enabling Silicor to produce the only truly ‘green’ silicon in the world.
“Further, Iceland ranks among the top aluminum producers worldwide, providing Silicor with a built-in market for its premium aluminum-based products. With the support of Arion Bank, we are well positioned to bring this venture to realization,” she concluded.
According to ruv.is, the facility’s construction is estimated to cost almost ISK 80 billion (USD 701 million, EUR 518 million).
The facility will have a nameplate capacity of 16,000 metric tons, with the ability to yield up to 19,000 metric tons of solar silicon each year. Silicor has already secured sales commitments and letters of intent with several leading global solar wafer, cell and module manufacturers, the press release states.
Silicor aims to break ground later this year and open the plant in 2016. An investment agreement with the Icelandic government is still pending, ruv.is points out.