Press release

Evonik is investing in the future-oriented solar power and electronics markets

Essen, Germany, 2009-05-14
  • Plans to build an integrated production facility for monosilane and AEROSIL® in Japan

  • Investment of around 125 millions of euros (20 billions of Yen)

  • Facility should come on stream in 2011

  • Dr. Klaus Engel, Chairman of Evonik’s Executive Board: "This investment strengthens our leadership in the photovoltaic market and broadens our strategic perspectives."



Evonik Industries AG is planning a substantial investment in the futureoriented markets for solar energy and electronics, despite the economic crisis. Together with Japanese partner Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC), the Group is working on a project involving investment of around 125 millions of euros (20 billions of Yen). The heart of the project is a new integrated production facility for monosilane and AEROSIL® in Yokkaichi (Japan), around 400 kilometers south of Tokyo. An agreement on this facility was signed today and is the first step in the positioning of Evonik’s solar silicon activities on the attractive Asian market. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in late 2009 and start-up is scheduled for 2011. Evonik has a long-term agreement to supply monosilane to TNSC, one of the world’s leading distributors of industrial and special gases. TNCN has been serving major customers in the electronics industry for many years.

"The planned new facility strengthens our market and technological leadership in the future-oriented solar power market. Evonik is an innovation driver on the photovoltaic market. We have the biggest and most diversified silicon chemistry network, so we can utilize attractive opportunities in the high-growth photovoltaic sector and, for the first time, in the electronics industry," said Dr. Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG, in Yokkaichi. This investment expands the strategic perspectives of a significant area of Evonik's chemicals activities. Technology developed by Evonik enables it to move into the production of electronic-grade monosilane for thin-layer photovoltaics, flat screens and semiconductors. Evonik already produces polycrystalline solar silicon for highly efficient wafer-based solar cells at a joint venture in Rheinfelden, Germany. "The new integrated production facility in Japan will give the Evonik Group a presence in all major siliconbased photovoltaic technologies," commented Dr. Engel.

Silanes are key components for solar cells that utilize solar energy. Evonik is already the global market leader in chlorosilanes and a significant producer of monosilane. The solar boom is set to continue and forecasts predict that the global market for monosilanes will grow by an average of 20 percent p.a. up to 2020.

The silicon tetrachloride obtained as a by-product of monosilane production in Yokkaichi will be processed into AEROSIL® and marketed separately, for example, for applications in plastics, colorants, lacquers, adhesives and sealants. Evonik expects the global market also for this product to continue to grow in the mid-term. Engel is confident: "In these gloomy economic times, our project in the land of the rising sun opens a new chapter in this success story."

Evonik has been producing AEROSIL® in Yokkaichi for around 40 years. Dr. Engel thanked Mie Prefecture, where Yokkaichi is located, for its tremendous commitment and support during the preliminary stages of the investment project: "Mie has worked closely with the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia to establish and strengthen contacts between companies in Japan and this region. Our decision for Yokkaichi is based on our good experience and success at this location over the decades and on the drive and enthusiasm of Mie Prefecture."

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  • About Evonik

    Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany which operates in three business areas: Chemicals, Energy and Real Estate. Evonik is a global leader in specialty chemicals, an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our strengths are creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2008 about 41,000 employees generated sales of about €15.9 billion and an operating profit EBITDA of about €2.2 billion.

  • Disclaimer

    In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.