REC Silicon to reduce production

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CBH Columbia Basin Herald Local News

MOSES LAKE - Officials at REC Silicon announced Thursday that production of its Siemens-based solar grade silicon at its Moses Lake facility will be temporarily reduced.

The decision will result in a reduction of 46 positions at the plant, according to an REC Silicon statement.

REC officials cited continued market and price pressures for solar grade polysilicon as reason for reducing production at the facility by 2,400 metric tons.

According to an August CBH article, the Moses Lake plant had a workforce of about 540 employees, the biggest REC Silicon operation based in the United States.

According to the company statement, the company will try to use some of the affected employees to fill existing vacancies.

"To remain competitive, the organization in Moses Lake has worked very hard this past year to drive operating costs down, but under these current economic conditions it is not viable to continue production when market prices for the Siemens solar chunk product has fallen well below the cost to produce it," said Tore Torvund, REC president.

According to REC spokesperson Sharon Palmerton, the transition to the new operating plan of reduced production will begin immediately, and will be in place by the end of the month.

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