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Another $1 billion solar products plant coming to Tennessee

Staff Report • Feb 26, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The Tennessean is reporting that Wacker Chemie AG, a German manufacturer of the basic material used in solar-energy cells, will build a $1 billion plant near Cleveland, Tenn., providing an initial 500 to 600 jobs, the company, along with state and local officials, will announce today.The company will build the plant on a site in Bradley County along Lauderdale Memorial Highway just off Exit 33 of Interstate 75, northwest of Cleveland.It's expected to begin producing polycrystalline silicon, also known as polysilicon in 2012.Howell said the site is about 20 miles north of the Volkswagen auto assembly plant under construction off I-75 in Chattanooga, also a $1 billion facility that will spur job creation at a time of rising unemployment in the state.This will be the second polysilicon factory announced for Tennessee in recent months. Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., one of Wacker's key competitors, said in December that it plans to build a $1.2 billion facility near Clarksville. That project is expected to open in 2012 and create 800 jobs.

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