REC Silicon and Ferroglobe announce MoU for silicon raw material supply

REC Silicon and Ferroglobe have announced a Memorandum of Understanding committing the companies to negotiate a raw material supply agreement and establish a low-carbon and fully traceable US-based solar supply chain.
REC Silicon and Ferroglobe announce MoU for silicon raw material supply
Courtesy of NREL.

Recent investment by the Hanwha Group into REC Silicon, in conjunction with Hanwha’s subsidiary Qcells, has sparked the impetus to expand REC’s long-standing relationship with Ferroglobe and plan for the immediate development of an end-to-end US solar supply chain from raw silicon, to polysilicon, and finally fully assembled modules. The impact of such investment would span from Washington State, to Georgia, West Virginia, and beyond.

Passage of Senator Jon Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act as part of a broad clean energy incentive package would make such plans immediately possible.

REC is a key producer of high-purity electronics and solar grade polysilicon with assets in Moses Lake, Washington and Butte, Montana and so is well positioned to help lead the US’ clean energy transition. The recent Hanwha investment will enable a re-start of the currently idle Moses Lake plant in 2023 and make available high volumes of cost competitive, high quality, and low carbon solar grade polysilicon.

Ferroglobe will be a critical partner in ensuring steady supply of fully traceable metallurgical grade silicon metal produced in the US from locally sourced raw materials and utilising its highly skilled domestic workforce. The company is one of the world’s largest producers of silicon metal and seeks to leverage its technical and operational expertise across sites in West Virginia, Alabama, and Ohio to support this effort.

The MOU commits the companies to work together to increase production and employment at each of the companies’ facilities.

“It is imperative that the solar manufacturing industry grows and diversifies” said James A. May II, CEO of REC Silicon. “REC is committed to driving large-scale investments in the United States, and we believe that the passage of SEMA in particular would result in the creation of tens of thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs across the sector, accelerating the US transition to clean energy.”

Dr. Marco Levi, Ferroglobe’s Chief Executive Officer, added that the solar industry is vital to the future of the global energy transformation.

“I am thankful for Senator Ossoff’s leadership on this important initiative, which will re-shore solar capacity in the US, and increase jobs to help the economy” Dr Levi said. “Furthermore, we are excited to collaborate with REC Silicon on this important initiative. We have had a longstanding relationship with REC, and this MOU aligns both companies’ respective expertise and competencies towards a common goal which is critical to the United States.”

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