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Dow Corning Announcement May Be Win-Win for Both Michigan and Tennessee

Coveted Expansion Appears Slated to be Headed for North-South Split

December 13, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Dow Corning's projected $2 billion plus investment in expanded production facilities for polycrystalline silicon apparently will be split between Michigan and Tennessee.

News media have reported that Gov. Phil Bredesen will be in Clarksville, TN, Monday as a major announcement is expected on the outcome of a Dow Corning Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. (HSC) expansion.

And Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is reportedly slated to be at Saginaw Valley State University on Monday.

Spokesman Jarrod J. Erpelding of Dow Corning issued a media advisory that HSC will be "discussing multi-billion-dollar investments to serve the solar technology industry" at two press conferences on Monday.

The first press conference will be held at Saginaw Valley State University at 8:45 a.m. Monday, followed by the Clarksville press conference at Austin Peay State University at 3 p.m.

Media sources in Tennessee predict that Clarksville's Commerce Park will be the site of a major HSC manufacturing facility.

Clarksville, Montgomery County and Tennessee officials have been working for months to land the plant expansion for Commerce Park, this community's 1,215-acre TVA-certified industrial megasite. HSC is looking to expand its production of polycrystalline silicon, an ultra-pure, rock-like material needed to produce wafers for solar panels and electronics. The manufacturing process uses quartz rock to produce solar cells for many electronic devices, including computers, cell phones, television, and video game consoles.

The Clarksville city-county Industrial Development Board has approved a tax incentive package for an industrial prospect code-named "Project Washington," subject to Clarksville being selected as the site for the plant expansion.

The project would bring a $1.1 billion corporate investment and at least 500 jobs to the community, according to news sources in Tennessee.

A 50 percent break on property taxes for the construction phase and during the first 20 years of operation would be granted.

The County Commission has approved spending up to $20 million to purchase the core megasite property from previous owner, a farmer.

Plant sites, available utilities and infrastructure, as well as wetlands mitigation and rail transportation service, were advance considerations by the TVA and Tennessee planners. ###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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