Lansing–Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the State of Michigan is partnering with Thomas Township in Saginaw County to support the $1-billion expansion of Dow Corning joint venture Hemlock Semiconductor Group’s solar cell manufacturing operations and the creation of up to 300 new jobs over the next two years.
"Our efforts to diversify Michigan’s economy and create new jobs are enhanced by Hemlock Semiconductor’s continued commitment to Michigan, which is helping to position our state as the alternative energy center of North America,” Granholm said.“Expanding solar manufacturing in Michigan is part of our aggressive strategy to grow high-tech companies and jobs and help end our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”
The Michigan Strategic Fund board today approved a $6.9 million grant to Thomas Township to make public infrastructure improvements needed for the expansion. The grant is being made available with funds from the federal Community Development Block Grant program.
In December, the company announced it would invest up to $1 billion in the project. An incentive package supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Thomas Township helped Michigan win the company’s fourth multi-million-dollar expansion in four years.
“We have received tremendous support from Thomas Township as we have experienced significant business growth,” Hemlock Semiconductor Group President and CEO Rick Doornbos said. “This grant is crucial for the township and Hemlock Semiconductor to continue investing in the Great Lakes Bay Region.”
ThomasTownshipwill use the CDBG grant to construct a 1-to-2-million-gallon water storage tank and a new water transmission line. The township will contribute $300,000 to support the project and the company will invest $2.2 million.
“We're pleased to partner with the State of Michigan and Hemlock Semiconductor to develop critical infrastructure that will support new development and the overall community. Hemlock Semiconductor has been a vital part of our local economy and a strong corporate citizen,” Thomas Township Manager Russ Taylor said.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation administers the state’s Community Development Block Grant funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used to provide grants and loans to eligible counties, cities, villages and townships—typically those with populations less than 50,000—for economic development, community development and housing projects. Larger communities receive block grant funds directly from the federal government.
“Thomas Township has been a strong partner in realizing this expansion,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “We couldn’t have done it without the township’s support. Together, we are working to ensure that Hemlock Semiconductor continues to grow and prosper in Michigan.”
The MEDC is able to award approximately $40 million in federal CDBG funds each year. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
“The continued commitment by a world class company, Hemlock Semiconductor, proves that there is a great potential for the Great Lakes Bay Region and that we have a 21st century skilled workforce in place,” Saginaw Future Inc. President JoAnn Crary said. “It adds greatly to the momentum that we’ve gained in transforming our economy and offering job opportunities for our young people.”
Hemlock Semiconductor is a joint venture of Dow Corning Corporation and two Japan-based firms, Shin-Etsu Handotai Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. In solar applications, polycrystalline silicon is the cornerstone material used to produce solar cells that harvest renewable energy from light rays. In addition to serving the solar energy market, polysilicon is also used in the production of semiconductor devices used in computers, cell phones and other electronic applications.
Hemlock Semiconductor (www.hscpoly.com) is the world's leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and passive solar cells and modules. Headquartered in Hemlock, Michigan, Hemlock Semiconductor is owned in majority and managed by Dow Corning Corporation.
Dow Corning Corporation (www.dowcorning.com) provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicon-based technology and innovation, offering more than 7,000 products and services, DowCorningis equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.
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