REC Silicon mothballs polysilicon plant in Moses Lake as expected

REC Silicon’s fluidized bed reactor polysilicon plant in Moses Lake, Washington at dusk
Prohibitive Chinese import duties have forced REC Silicon to shut down its FBR polysilicon plant in Moses Lake – Image: REC Silicon

In view of no visible progress in the trade negotiations between the USA and China, REC Silicon has announced today that it has placed its fluidized bed reactor (FBR) polysilicon plant at Moses Lake in the U.S. state of Washington in a long-term shutdown.

The company had already announced the shutdown on June 13 if access to the polysilicon market in China was not restored by July 15.

REC Silicon has laid off approx. 100 of the 150 employees at the plant. The remaining workforce will maintain the facility for a potential restart. Should the company regain access to the Chinese polysilicon market in the near term, it would re-hire its laid-off employees and restart production “immediately.”

Otherwise, REC Silicon estimates that it would take nine months and require an investment of US$50 million to re-commission the FBR plant after a complete shutdown.

Early on, Bernreuter Research has viewed it as unlikely that China would reopen its market to U.S. polysilicon imports.

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