- Hanwha Solutions is to acquire 16.67% stake in REC Silicon once the transaction completed in Q1/2022
- The deal brings to Hanwha a local and stable polysilicon supply chain in the US where it already operates a 1.7 GW module fab
- For REC Silicon, the deal opens up an opportunity to reopen its Moses Lake polysilicon fab
REC Silicon from Norway has secured Hanwha Solutions Corporation as a 16.67% stakeholder. The polysilicon manufacturer believes this brings enough resources to re-start its Moses Lake, Washington facility and enable investment opportunities for its fab in Butte, Montana.
For Hanwha, on the other hand, the investment worth NOK 964 million ($110 million) provides it a stable supply of polysilicon with a US value chain, for the company’s solar modules. Through its brand of Q Cells that touts a 10 GW total cell manufacturing capacity globally, South Korea based Hanwha Group has its own module production facility in the US with 1.7 GW annual capacity rolling out 12,000 modules a day.
Hanwha has agreed to acquire a stake in REC Silicon from existing investor Aker Horizons for NOK 438 million ($50 million). After the transaction completes in Q1/2022, Hanwha will hold a 16.67% stake in the polysilicon manufacturer.
A joint statement from the companies refers to the Solar Energy Manufacturing Act (SEMA) that the US plans to adopt to encourage local PV manufacturing to say that, “The eventual passage of the legislation will support the parties’ ambitions to establish a comprehensive US solar value chain, from production of polysilicon to fully assembled solar modules.”
Proposed by US Senator Jon Ossoff, the SEMA act is targeted to provide tax credits to the domestic solar manufacturing industry, so it is in a better position to compete with Chinese manufacturers. Introduced in June 2021, the proposed act is supported by several companies, including Q Cells and REC Silicon (see US Senator Wants Tax Credit For Local Manufacturers).
REC Silicon’s Moses Lake fab has been out of business for long now due to the continued trade disputes between the US and China that restricts the Chinese market for the US based polysilicon producer. There was growing hope for the facility to restart after REC Silicon announced a strategic partnership with upcoming manufacturing company Violet Energy, trading as Violet Power in October 2020, however the partnership was called off by the Norwegian silicon company in April 2021 (see REC Silicon & Violet Power Partnership Terminated).
Recently, Hanwha Solutions took over 100% of the RES Group’s French Renewables Development Company (see Hanwha Q Cells To Acquire RES Group’s French Business).