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Wacker Chemie AG

Wacker develops and manufactures products for all key global industries and active in the silicone polymer, fine chemicals, and polysilicon industries.

Industry:
Chemical/Petrochemicals

Services:
Site Selection

Investment Amount:
$2,400,000,000

Location:
Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee

The Need 

Wacker Chemie AG engaged GLS consultants to use their industrial siting expertise to help bring a hyperpure polysilicon manufacturing facility to the United States. With this facility, their first polysilicon facility outside of Germany, Wacker hoped to meet the growing demand of the North American electronics and solar cells manufacturing industries.

The ideal location was considered to be a 500+ acres site in close proximity to an existing Chlor-Alkali manufacturing facility, enabling the utilization of the membrane (preferred) or the diaphragm (acceptable) electrolysis technology. Furthermore, key raw materials could be procured by directly importing anhydrous hydrochloric acid or chlorine gas and hydrogen gas from the existing Chlor-Alkali production facility.

Other considerations were access to industrial utility infrastructure; quality workforce; environmental conditions (air quality attainment, ability to treat and discharge wastewater, etc.), access to rail and highway infrastructure; and taxes and incentives.

The Solution

GLS set out in search of both Greenfield sites as well as sites located adjacent to Chlor-Alkali plants in the United States and Canada. After considering numerous proposed sites from across the US and Canada, GLS arrived at two locations that precisely fit Wacker’s needs. One site was located in Three Rivers, Quebec, Canada and the other in Cleveland, TN.

Following careful review and discussion, the Cleveland, TN site was chosen as the final location for the project and was announced in December 2010. Despite the downturn in the polysilicon market, the project has moved forward and reached a capital investment of $2.4 billion and 650 total jobs in early 2016.