Cogen plans for silicon plant

Power for the production of solar grade polysilicon in Italy will be largely produced on site by means of a 50 MW methane-fired cogeneration plant, a 10 MW hydro plant and a biomass plant.

Production is set to commence with the establishment of Silfab SpA, which intends to supply some 2500 tonnes of silicon annually from 2009 using the Siemens process and double production capacity to 5000 tonnes in 2010, corresponding to about 600 MW.

The works, at Borgofranco d’Ivrea in Turin Province, will cover an area of 100,000 square metres and the project will require an investment of about €280 million for the first phase and some €430 overall.

Silfab has already signed contract with Maire Tecnimont S.p.A., for basic engineering design services, main equipment procurement, permitting services and other support activities. The reactors have already been ordered by Silfab with the objective of completing the plant by the year 2010.

‘Realizing the Italian production of polysilicon, with technical specifications that are innovative and competitive at international level, will allow the photovoltaic industry to obtain very high quality wafers for the production of high-efficiency, low-cost cells,’ said company founder Franco Traverso.

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