DuPont exits trichlorosilane
As intimated in May, DuPont has sold a business making trichlorosilane (TCS), the primary raw material used in producing the ultra-pure polysilicon. This is based at Midland, Michigan, and was part of Dow before their merger. DuPont viewed it as no longer viewed as core. The price is said to be about $725 million.
The buyer is Hemlock Semiconductor Operations (HSC), which has a facility at Saginaw, about 32 km from Midland. HSC has been seeking to vertically integrate its production of polysilicon, which it supplies to the solar power and semiconductor markets, thus reducing costs.
The potential sale was flagged up in DuPont’s earnings call on 2 May. This named as non-core the Biomaterials; Photovoltaics & Advanced Materials, including Hemlock Semiconductor; DuPont Sustainable Solutions; and the DuPont Teijin Films joint venture. The company is looking at strategic options for all of these. HCS itself dates back to 1961 and is a joint venture between DowDuPont, Corning and Shin-Etsu Handotai. Its Thomas Township headquarters and manufacturing operations in Michigan employ about 1,500 people.