TORONTO — Silicon metal maker Timminco Limited said it will need to expand production capacity at a Quebec facility owned by its subsidiary Becancour Silicon, which signed a deal Wednesday to sell solar grade silicon to an unnamed solar cell manufacturer.
The Becancour deal provides for shipments of about 4,400 metric tons over five years. It is Becancour's fourth long-term commercial contract for the sale of high purity silicon.
''This fourth contract strengthens the business case for significant additional expansion of our production capacity to meet anticipated volume requirements starting in 2009,'' stated Becancour CEO Rene Boisvert.
The company says total annual production volume under these four contracts is expected to be about 6,000 metric tons beginning in 2009.
The added volume means the company will have to expand its facility in Becancour, Que. beyond its current 3,600 metric ton level.
Becancour says the facility, which is under construction, started production Wednesday on the first of three production lines.
Each production line will have an annual capacity of 1,200 metric tons and will be brought into production in series, the company says.
It says the second and third lines are expected to be coming on stream in the first quarter of 2008.
Timminco is owned by Netherlands-based AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V.
The company's shares were halted in late-day trading Wednesday prior to the announcement. They last traded up 98 cents at $16.59 on the Toronto stock market.