Sep 21 (Renewables Now) - Wacker Chemie AG (ETR:WCH) expects its polysilicon factory in Charleston, Tennessee to be offline for several months after an explosion on September 7.
The incident damaged a small, but important facility of the plant, the German chemical company explains. It was caused by a technical defect leading to a leak of hydrogen which caught fire. Two employees were evaluated at hospital and released the same day.
Wacker said on Wednesday that a root-cause investigation has started. The company expects only minor financial effects from the incident as there is insurance coverage for damages and loss of production.
Tobias Brandis, global president Wacker Polysilicon, said that production will not start until a thorough inspection is completed and the firm is certain that the facility is safe, adding that from today's perspective, restarting will take several months.
Wacker opened the USD-2.5-billion (EUR 2.1bn) plant last year. It has a capacity of 20,000 tonnes. The company said yesterday it is in contact with customers and will keep them informed on polysilicon availability.
(USD 1 = USD 0.842)