First Energy, PMD to set up polysilicon venture
Manama, November 17, 2009
A world class $1 billion polysilicon production facility, the first of its kind and scale in the region, will be established in Saudi Arabia’s Al Jubail Industrial City 2.
The project is spearheaded by its strategic partner, the Bahrain-based First Energy Bank (FEB), and the techno-commercial developer, Project Management and Development Company (PMD), a Saudi-based industrial group.
The project will cover a total area of approximately 375,000 sq m in Al Jubail Industrial City 2.
Polysilicon is used in the production of solar panels.
The project, which will be managed and developed by Cosmos Industrial Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of FEB, in partnership with PMD and is expected to start production in 2013. It will have a total production capacity of 7,500 tonnes per annum of high quality polysilicon product.
The venture is structured to benefit from the world class infrastructure and support facilities available at Al Jubail industrial city, said a statement.
The project is expected to create approximately 400 job opportunities for Saudi nationals. It is expected that future expansion of the project facility (in second phase) would include investments in downstream sector such as manufacturing of ingots, wafers, cell and modules.
The venture has already achieved key milestones including (a) the signing of the power supply agreement with Saudi Electricity Company (SEC); (b) securing of the industrial land from the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu; (c) the signing of the market offtake agreement with Vinmar International and (d) completion of market and technical studies
“Renewable sources of energy will remain a priority globally, and solar energy in particular is a logical industry to take off and flourish in the Middle East and North Africa region. We are therefore bullish on the polysilicon industry, and we are particularly happy to launch such a significant plant in one of the most important industrial hubs in the Gulf region, namely, in Al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia. ” said Vahan Zanoyan, CEO of First Energy Bank.
“The polysilicon project at Al Jubail is a strategic initiative of FEB in collaboration with PMD which is in line with Saudi government strategy of promoting green and sustainable energy solutions leading to further economic diversification and expansion of industrial base. This project is expected to stimulate opportunities in the downstream sector of the solar energy chain, and has benefited from the support rendered by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, the Saudi Electricity Company and all other Saudi government authorities,” said Majed A Al-Ahmadi, chairman of PMD.
The polysilicon plant, the largest plant of its kind in the Mena region, is based on tried and tested design principles utilizing processes and procedures widely accepted in the industry as cost efficient and effective. The project will use advanced and commercially proven technologies in its production processes deriving benefits from the economies of scale and will be one of the lowest cost polysilicon producers in the world, said the statement. -TradeArabia News Service