Schmid Silicon Technology: From East Germany with Polysilicon

[Berlin, Germany]

Invest in Germany Fast Track has the Thanksgiving Day scoop

Gebr. Schmid GmbH + Co. (Deutsch), the photovoltaics (flat panel display and printed circuit board) equipment manufacturer specializing in wet chemistry and headquartered in Freudenstadt, Germany, is expanding into polysilicon production by establishing Schmid Silicon Technology GmbH in the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park (Industriepark) located between Spremberg and Spreewitz, Germany. Schmid Silicon plans to build 5000 MT (metric tons) of polysilicon capacity on a 30 hectare (74 acre) plot ramping in 2010 and creating up to 400 new jobs including a technology (research) center.

While I first saw this reported in the Fast Track Winter 07/08 News from Germany – Photovoltaics by Invest in Germany, the local newspaper, Lausitzer Rundschau, published the first report in German titled Silizium-Hersteller siedelt sich in Schwarze Pumpe an, Schmid Silicon Technology schafft neue Jobs.

In recent years, the private and family owned Schmid Group has been expanding like gang busters driven by the high growth rates of the photovoltaic and flat panel display industries. I hear the Schmid Group has been working with unnamed Russian partners for the past few years to enter the Polysilicon production business. It is almost certain they will use a Siemens process for Polysilicon production requiring about $750 Million (USD) of capital investment to construct this capacity. The Schmid Group will no doubt use cash and prepaid Polysilicon contracts to finance this ambitious upstream integration plan. Founded in 1864, the Schmid Group has developed a strong aversion to banks and financial markets over their 143 years of operation.

I have two great things to report from the first day of the 8. Forum Solarpraxis. The coffee breaks are smoke free this year, and this evening’s dinner featured turkey albeit without all the trimmings (stuffing, turkey gravy, and cranberries were absent). However, I noticed SOLON AG CEO Thomas Krupke (see SOLON AG CEO Kicks PV Blogger Out of Analyst Conference) contributing to greenhouse gases by smoking a large stogie (cigar) after dinner. What sort of carbon footprint is that?

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