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Solar silicon research centre to open in China

REC announces STAR Centre to develop technologies and grow polysilicon industry

The STAR Centre aims to develop silicon technologies for solar applications
The STAR Centre aims to develop silicon technologies for solar applications in China

A solar research centre to develop silicon technologies is to open in China. The Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has announced that it intends to open the applications and research centre in Shangyu.

The STAR Centre (Silicon Technologies Applications and Research Center) will be a technology development and training facility that provides localised support for REC silicon customers.

It will allow customers to evaluate silicon materials, equipment and processes that impact yield and cost in manufacturing mono and multicrystalline polysilicon ingots for the solar and semiconductor industry.

Tore Torvund, executive vice president, REC Silicon, said: "The solar polysilicon market has been very challenging this past nine months, especially in China. However, REC's NextSi(TM) granular polysilicon and FBR (Fluidized Bed Reactor) manufacturing technology ensures the company is sustainable and uniquely positioned for success in China going forward.

"Also, the establishment of the STAR Centre is a commitment to our customers in China, and we expect to grow and play a key role in the solar and semiconductor materials industry in the years to come," he said.
 
The STAR Centre will be wholly owned by REC; however REC has partnered with equipment manufacturer Jingsheng M&E, a leading polysilicon ingot and furnace manufacturer, based in Shangyu, China. The two companies will engage in collaborative research at the STAR Centre to investigate product attributes and processes, as well as yield and packing efficiency improvements.

Kurt Levens, VP of commercial development and planning, REC Silicon, said, "The STAR Centre will be our regional customer support and applications facility with the express purpose of teaching our customers how to use our products and teaching ourselves how customers should use our products. In doing this, we can better determine the value proposition of our material in our customers' processes.

"REC Silicon recognizes the importance of China's solar and semiconductor industry and we want to be close to our expanding customer base in China," he added.