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Business

Dow Corning To Abandon Tennessee Silicon Site

by Marc S. Reisch
December 22, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 51

Dow Corning will abandon its newly built but still unopened Hemlock Semiconductor polysilicon facility in Clarksville, Tenn. The company says the 10,000-metric-ton-per-year project was a victim of Chinese tariffs on imports of the solar-panel raw material from the U.S. It also points to continued oversupply of polysilicon. The firm will take a charge of about $1.6 billion for the closure. Its parents, Dow Chemical and Corning, will each take a charge of $500 million. Polysilicon competitor Wacker Chemie still plans to start up a new plant in Charleston, Tenn., in the second half of 2015. Wacker agreed in March to sell its European-made polysilicon to China at an undisclosed minimum price in return for a Chinese government promise not to charge antidumping tariffs. Separately, Dow Corning reduced by $1.3 billion an accounting of its remaining silicone breast implant liability. The firm reached a $3.2 billion settlement with implant recipients in 2004. As a result, Dow and Corning will each register a gain of $400 million.

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