EC clears Germany's €97.5m state aid grant to Wacker Chemie

15 September 2010 13:37  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Commission has cleared a €97.5m ($126.6m) state aid grant from the German government to Wacker Chemie for the production of solar-grade polysilicon at Nunchritz, the executive body said on Wednesday.

The €800m project involves the construction of a new polysilicon plant next to a silicone/silane plant at Wacker Chemie’s Nunchritz, Dresden, site in eastern Germany.

“The positive impact of the investment on regional development will outweigh any potential distortions of competition brought about by the aid,” said the Commission in a statement.

The German authorities intended to grant aid on the basis of existing aid schemes but, as the aid amount was above the notification ceiling, the proposed aid had to be notified to the Commission for individual assessment and clearance.

Solar-grade polysilicon is the main raw material for the production of solar crystalline wafers, cells and modules that are part of an integrated solar energy system and that convert sunlight into electricity.

Wacker Chemie already has a polysilicon production plant in the German region of Bavaria.

The company’s global market share for solar grade and overall polysilicon would remain below 25% after the investment, said the Commission.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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