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Friday, August 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

REC Silicon facility to shut down in May

UPDATED: Fri., April 12, 2019, 7:06 p.m.

This line of 68 furnaces at the REC Silicon facility in Moses Lake stretches for over a quarter mile, all under one roof. Production at the REC Silicon facility in Moses Lake will be shut down May 15, with a possible long-term shutdown and layoffs at the end of June. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
This line of 68 furnaces at the REC Silicon facility in Moses Lake stretches for over a quarter mile, all under one roof. Production at the REC Silicon facility in Moses Lake will be shut down May 15, with a possible long-term shutdown and layoffs at the end of June. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review)
From staff reports

Production at the REC Silicon facility in Moses Lake will be shut down May 15, with a possible long-term shutdown and layoffs at the end of June, if a resolution is not reached in the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, according to a published report.

James May, REC Silicon chief financial officer, told iFIBER ONE News on Friday that continuing to operate the facility under the current market conditions that have left REC out of the Chinese polysilicon market is “not a viable option” and not a profitable operation.

May said the May 15 date to shut down the Moses Lake facility will not include a reduction in the company’s workforce. The company will continue to evaluate trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, which May said have shown “encouraging results.”

The Moses Lake facility has operated at 25 percent capacity since July as a result of the ongoing trade dispute, which imposed tariffs on polysilicon imports from the U.S. in 2014, cutting REC and other producers from the world’s largest market.

Unless a resolution is reached to allow REC Silicon to access the polysilicon markets in China, the facility will be placed in a “long-term shutdown” by June 30. May said this will likely include a reduction in the workforce.

May said the company plans to do what it can to preserve the plant during the long-term shutdown to allow for production to restart if a trade agreement is reached.

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