Silicor Materials, Inc., a manufacturer of high-quality solar silicon and aluminum by-products, has secured $105M in equity capital agreements to support the construction of its first commercial-scale manufacturing operation in Grundartangi, Iceland.
Silicor’s solar silicon is a lower-cost alternative to traditional polysilicon that uniquely enables module manufacturers to optimize production costs. The material is produced through a proprietary metals-based process that consumes two-thirds less energy than traditional methods and requires no toxic chemicals. Silicor’s unique process can produce solar silicon for use in PV wafers and cells that achieve conversion efficiencies in line with traditional materials. The company has already secured sales commitments and letters of intent with leading global solar module manufacturers, equivalent to approximately 75 percent of the plant’s annual production capacity.
“The government is focused on promoting Iceland as an interesting investment opportunity and with increased stability in the Icelandic economy we’ve seen growing interest,” Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland said on the occasion. “This large project is a very good example of this. It is obvious that investors see many positive opportunities in Iceland and we are very optimistic about the future.”
The capital raised includes support from Icelandic pension funds as well as other strategic investors, including longtime Silicor investor Hudson Clean Energy Partners. Centra Corporate Finance served as the equity advisor to Silicor for the capital raise, with additional guidance from Hudson. A portion of the capital will be drawn as work continues on the project; the bulk will be drawn once construction commences, which is expected to occur in mid-2016.
“Iceland is a perfect partner for Silicor, with its suite of attractive trading relationships and compelling power market fundamentals,” said Neil Auerbach, Vice Chairman of the Silicor board and founder and managing partner of Hudson Clean Energy Partners. “This plant will place Silicor in the top six solar silicon manufacturers by volume, with an industry leading cost structure. The company’s combination of large scale, high quality and low cost is truly disruptive and will challenge incumbent manufacturers for dominance in this important part of the PV supply chain.”
Equipment for the new factory will be supplied by SMS Siemag, a world-leading supplier of metals production tools, and construction of the facility will be completed by MT Højgaard out of Denmark. Local subcontractors in Iceland are also providing significant support.
“Closing on this round is a major milestone in our quest to manufacture low-cost, environmentally friendly silicon in Iceland,” said Terry Jester, Chairman and CEO of Silicor. “With support from Hudson Clean Energy Partners and our new Icelandic investors, our team has worked incredibly hard to get where we are today. We look forward to connecting with additional investors and strategic partners in the future, both in Iceland and across the globe.”
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.