TORONTO, CANADA: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, the world's largest producer of crystalline silicon solar panels, and Calisolar Inc., a privately held, vertically integrated manufacturer of solar silicon, wafers and cells, announced that the companies have signed a Letter of Intent to construct a solar silicon manufacturing facility in Ontario Canada.
Once completed, the manufacturing facility will add new operators and engineers and will significantly expand the existing manufacturing operations in Vaughan, Ontario, doubling total employment at Calisolar's wholly owned subsidiary, 6N Silicon to more than 350.
As set forth in the Letter of Intent, Suntech will assist with financing the expansion, and enter a multi-year agreement to purchase solar silicon produced by Calisolar at the new manufacturing facility.
"This partnership with Calisolar is an excellent opportunity for Suntech to accelerate the development of the solar industry in Ontario and meet the growing solar demand across Canada," said Steven Chan, president of Suntech's North American operations.
"We have looked at the various alternatives for investment in Ontario and have determined that our continued commitment to the silicon refining industry provides the best opportunity to create long-term sustainable jobs given the product's export viability."
"This agreement with Suntech, a recognized global leader in solar products, marks a significant milestone in Calisolar's expansion," commented Calisolar CEO Sandra Beach Lin.
"Calisolar's unique silicon refining technology was developed in Ontario and provides significant cost and environmental advantages compared to traditional processes. Together with Suntech we will be able to expand our operations in Ontario and bring long-term, sustainable jobs to continue to serve this exciting, emerging market for solar energy."
Chan added: "We are very excited about this initiative and have been working with the Province of Ontario to seek clarification regarding the local content regulations so that we can move forward in the most efficient manner possible. This is a unique opportunity to leverage the economic advantages of technologies and expertise found only in Ontario for use in cost effective, large scale, renewable energy."