Dow Corning will permanently 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. 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 duties.
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 on their balance sheets.