Press release
Corporate Press
April 21, 2008

Evonik Systematically Continuing Its Course of Growth in the Photovoltaics Industry

  • Contract signed with TSM for the construction in the Netherlands of the first integrated production facility for solar silicon
  • Evonik investing a high double-digit million euro amount P
  • roduction to begin in 2009
  • Contract Signed for Construction of the First Integrated Solar Silicon Production Facility in the Netherlands 

Essen/Sittard-Geleen. Evonik Industries AG and Netherlands-based The Silicon Mine (TSM) have just signed a contract to build the first integrated production facility for solar silicon in the Netherlands. Evonik and TSM announced their plans for the integrated facility in September of last year. TSM chose an historical location to sign the contract with Evonik: Château Neercanne near Maastricht, where the European Maastricht Treaty was signed. In this integrated production network, Evonik's Chemicals Business Area will produce its Siridion® chlorosilanes. TSM will use these products for the production of high-purity silicon for the photovoltaics industry. Evonik will invest a high double-digit million euro amount. The groundbreaking event will be held in the next few months, and production of solar silicon will commence as soon as 2009.

"Today, the photovoltaics industry is suffering from an insufficient supply of silicon. Our investment will ensure that our partners can meet their highly challenging growth scenarios in this emerging industry. In the mid-term, we aim to further invest a high triple-digit million euro amount to expand our good position in this attractive, but challenging market," says Dr. Klaus Engel, member of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG and responsible for the Chemicals Business Area.

The integrated facility is being built at the DSM site Chemelot, in Sittard-Geleen, a city in the province of Limburg. It is a major industrial zone in the Netherlands. At the site, Evonik Industries produces its high purity Siridion®* chlorosilanes, which are converted by TSM into high purity silicon by means of the well-proven Siemens deposition process: “The synergies of optimized integrated production—a fence-to-fence concept—between the partners Evonik Industries and TSM at one of Europe's largest chemical sites form the basis for the success of the project,” explains Dr. Dietmar Wewers, who is responsible for the Advanced Silanes Business Line of Evonik’s Inorganic Materials Business Unit.

Creating more than 400 jobs, TSM is planning an annual production of at least 3,750 metric tons of high-purity solar silicon at the Sittard-Geleen site. The partnership with EVONIK, global market leader in silanes will speed up our ambitious growth plans for the next years,” underlines Dr. Gosse Boxhoorn, chairman of TSM’s management board, adding that annual production capacity could be increased in the long term to as much as14,000 metric tons of solar silicon.

Evonik is the world's largest supplier of high purity chlorosilanes. These raw materials are used in the production of solar silicon, which is in turn used to produce solar wafers. The photovoltaics industry then processes these wafers into solar cells and modules.

Evonik has been successfully involved in the booming photovoltaics market for several years. In April 2007, Evonik concluded a letter of intent with the French company Silicium de Provence (Silpro) for similar integrated production of up to 4,000 metric tons per year of solar silicon. In May 2007, it signed with PV Silicon, Erfurt, a long-term supply agreement to provide the 1,800-metric-ton solar silicon production facility currently under construction in Bitterfeld with Siridion® chlorosilanes. As early as 2002, the company established, with SolarWorld AG of Bonn, the joint venture Solar Silicon GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Freiberg, Saxony. It will produce 850 metric tons per year of solar silicon from monosilane at Evonik's Rheinfelden site and will go on stream on August 8th 2008.

* Siridion® is Evonik Industries AG's brand name for chlorosilanes. Siridion® stands for the highest product quality and customer satisfaction, due not least to its advantages of purity, cooperation, and reliability.

About Evonik

Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany which operates in three business areas: Chemicals, Energy and Real Estate. Evonik is a global leader in specialty chemicals, an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our strengths are creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2007 about 43,000 employees generated sales of about €14.4 billion and an operating profit (EBIT) of more than €1.3 billion (preliminary figures).


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.