March 08, 2012 at 07:42 AM EST
Silicor Materials, Formerly Calisolar, Announces Customer and Financing Partners for Major Manufacturing Expansion

Silicor Materials Inc., formerly Calisolar Inc., today announced that it has secured memoranda of understanding with two major partners as it moves toward construction of its large-scale manufacturing facility in Lowndes County, Mississippi: Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd (NYSE: STP) for offtake of 40 percent of the facility’s solar silicon, and the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors for the receipt of $19 million in financial incentives, as part of a $94 million total package of loans, grants and infrastructure incentives from Lowndes County and the State of Mississippi. The company’s rebrand as Silicor Materials Inc. is designed to align with its strategic focus on silicon production, and is effective immediately.

“Over the past year, we’ve sharpened our focus on the segment of the solar supply chain where we have our greatest competitive edge: production of high quality, low cost silicon,” said John Correnti, Executive Chairman of Silicor Materials, who previously led a similar transformation of steel manufacturing as CEO of Nucor Corporation. “In order to reach grid parity, the entire solar industry must get used to a lower price point. Silicor Materials is leading the way with a cutting-edge product, enabling cost reductions across the supply chain.”

As Silicor Materials focuses on expanding silicon production capacity, the State of Mississippi and Suntech, the world’s largest producer of solar panels and a longtime customer of the company, are two important partners. The company expects to announce partnership agreements with additional entities in the coming months.

“We are extremely pleased to formalize two strong partnerships as we progress with the construction of our Mississippi facility,” said Theresa Jester, CEO of Silicor Materials. “Our new name, Silicor Materials, reflects our commitment to delivering world-class products to a variety of industries. In line with the plan we outlined last September, our core product continues to be high quality silicon for PV cells. In addition, our innovative manufacturing process will continue to allow us to sell aluminum-based products, such as master alloys and polyaluminum chloride.”

Silicor Materials successfully met its goal last year of establishing the quality and value of its silicon in conventional solar cell processing lines. Suntech will be the first customer for solar silicon from the Mississippi facility. “Silicor Materials has been a great partner and supplier. The team has enabled our growth in the Ontario solar market with their silicon, and we look forward to serving additional markets with the silicon they will produce in Mississippi,” commented Eric Luo, Senior Vice President for Global Supply Chain at Suntech.

The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors has approved $19 million in long-term property tax abatements for Silicor’s facility in Mississippi – consistent with the previously announced commitments from both the County and State of an overall package of loans, grants and infrastructure incentives totaling more than $94 million. Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Columbus Lowndes Development Link, which is facilitating the incentives, said, “Silicor Materials has been a terrific partner thus far, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work together to get the new facility on line.”

About Silicor Materials

Silicor Materials Inc., formerly Calisolar Inc., is a manufacturer of solar and aluminum products, including the leading high-quality, low-cost solar silicon. The company has silicon purification operations at the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Calisolar Canada Inc., located in Ontario, Canada; and a state-of-the-art research and development center in Berlin, Germany. Its investors include Advanced Technology Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Good Energies, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, and Ventures West. More information can be found at www.silicormaterials.com.

Contacts:

For Silicor Materials Inc.
Jeremy Robinson-Leon, 212-784-5702
jrl@groupgordon.com
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