Burghausen Site Expansion: Wacker Chemie to Create Over 100 Jobs in Semiconductor-grade Polysilicon Production

Polysilicon used in the manufacture of semiconductor wafers requires an extremely high surface purity. WACKER is now expanding its capacity for cleaning semiconductor-grade polysilicon at its Burghausen site. (Photo: Wacker Chemie AG)

(IN BRIEF) Wacker Chemie AG plans to expand its capacity for cleaning semiconductor-grade polysilicon by setting up a new production line at its Burghausen site. The expansion will increase capacity by over 50% and enable the production of more powerful semiconductors. The project includes substantial investments in research and innovation to enhance polysilicon purity. The company has applied for EU funding and expects to receive up to €46 million. The expansion will create over 100 new jobs and support the company’s goal of doubling sales to the semiconductor sector by 2030.

(PRESS RELEASE) MUNICH/ BURGHAUSEN, 12-Jun-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Wacker Chemie AG (ETR: WCH), a German multinational chemical company, has unveiled plans to significantly increase its capacity for cleaning semiconductor-grade polysilicon. The company intends to establish a new production line at its Burghausen site by early 2025, resulting in a capacity boost of over 50%. Polysilicon chip etching plays a critical role in ensuring the necessary surface purity for semiconductor applications. With a projected capital expenditure of over €300 million, this expansion will not only create more than 100 new jobs at WACKER’s Burghausen site but also additional employment opportunities at partner companies.

In addition to expanding capacity, the project includes substantial investments in research and innovation. The goal is to further enhance the purity of polysilicon through advanced and highly automated processes, enabling semiconductors to meet increasingly stringent design requirements and unleashing even greater chip performance. WACKER has applied for funding under the EU’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) program, and the European Commission has granted approval under state aid law on June 8, 2023. Pending approval from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, WACKER anticipates receiving funding of up to €46 million.

“As the only European producer of ultrapure polysilicon, we are proud to be making an important contribution to strengthening Europe’s microelectronics supply chain with this project,” explained WACKER CEO Christian Hartel. He went on to say that, at the same time, this investment project was an important part of WACKER’s strategy to intensify its focus on polysilicon for applications that demand extremely high quality. “By expanding our surface-cleaning capacity, we are creating the necessary conditions for meeting the continued fast-growing demand of our semiconductor customers. Thanks to this investment, we are also able to take the quality of our material to the next level so as to support the semiconductor sector’s latest technologies,” he added.

Last year, when Wacker Chemie unveiled its growth targets, the company highlighted its plans to expand polysilicon capacity for semiconductor applications in addition to producing highly efficient material for solar cells. WACKER POLYSILICON aims to double its sales with semiconductor-sector customers by 2030, with approximately €100 million allocated for investment each year in the coming years.

The cleaning process for polysilicon chunks, used as the starting material for semiconductor wafers, is complex and technically demanding. It involves the use of strong acids in an etching process to remove the uppermost layer from the polysilicon surface. The purified polysilicon is then packaged under cleanroom conditions for delivery to customers. Leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and a high level of automation, the new facilities will achieve a surface purity that already meets the stringent demands of future generations of semiconductor wafers.

Media Contact

Wacker Chemie AG
Media Relations & Information
Christof Bachmair
Tel. +49 89 6279-1830

SOURCE: Wacker Chemie AG


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