REC Silicon's strategic shift in Butte

REC Silicon's strategic shift in Butte

Harnessing Silicon Gas Leadership for Enhanced Earnings

REC Silicon is undergoing a significant strategic transition, primarily driven by the need to address the imbalance in electricity supply and demand in the Butte region. This change involves shutting down the polysilicon business in Butte, a decision expected to substantially reduce annual energy consumption and operational costs. The company will continue polysilicon production for the next 6-9 months to honor existing supply commitments. Following this period, there will be a reduction in the workforce aligned with the discontinuation of the Butte polysilicon business.

The closure of the polysilicon segment in Butte is a challenging decision, especially considering its impact on the workforce. Despite efforts to restore profitability, persistently high electricity costs have made this business line unsustainable. This transition, however, opens up new avenues for REC Silicon. CEO Kurt Levens emphasizes the company’s focus on the globally recognized silicon gases business based in Butte. He anticipates this shift will positively impact earnings and allow the company to capitalize on the significant opportunities brought about by the Chips, IRA, and Infrastructure Acts.

The future strategy involves leveraging the company's leading position in silicon gas production to explore new investment and product opportunities. This move is in response to the unfeasible electricity pricing for polysilicon production and a strategic focus on long-term viability. REC Silicon aims to manage the shutdown process considerately, balancing the interests of all stakeholders and honoring its longstanding presence in the semiconductor materials supply chain.

Montana Standard reports:

Still no clarity on job cuts at REC Silicon’s Butte facility
The plant employs 235 people in Butte-Silver Bow County and is one of the top private employers in the county. The company would not say how many of those workers

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