It wasn't a huge surprise a month ago when the leaders of Hemlock Semiconductor said they plan to shut for good the doors of their Clarksville polysilicon plant. On Thursday morning, parent company Dow Chemical said how much that decision will cost it. The Michigan-based industrial giant will take a $500 million hit pre-tax, which comes out to $465 million after taxes.
SEE ALSO: A 2013 TNReport.com story detailing the money Hemlock got in various subsidies and credits for building its doomed Middle Tennessee operation.
Executives with Hemlock Semiconductor have decided to permanently close their massive Clarksville factory complex without it ever producing a finished batch of polycrystalline silicon, the rock-like material used in solar panels and semiconductor chips. Hemlock announced six years ago that it would invest more than $1 billion in Clarksville, but a global supply glut and the threat of Chinese tariffs led the company to lay off its 300 local workers in the spring of 2013.
Jimmy Settle has the story for The Leaf-Chronicle.
Now, the company will have to work with local government to determine what parts of the massive facility they built here just within the past few years can perhaps be re-purposed for other business uses.
If Hemlock Semiconductor doesn't crank up operations at its massive Clarksville plant by year's end, it will have to cover the principal payments on the $20 million loan Montgomery County officials took out to buy the land under the facility. Mark Hicks at the Leaf-Chronicle has the details.
The terms are part of a performance-based agreement between HSC and the EDC, in which Hemlock committed to a $1 billion investment, which Chavez noted to company exceeded by $1 billion, and 500 jobs, “but they’re short on jobs by about 400,” he said.
Hemlock Semiconductor has confirmed that the 300 people whose jobs were furloughed early this year at the company's brand new Clarksville plant are being given severance packages and job placement services. Jimmy Settle with the Leaf-Chronicle has the details.
The bright promise of early 2009 dimmed considerably Monday at Hemlock Semiconductor, which said it was laying off 300 people in Clarksville and another 100 in Michigan in the face of oversupply in the polysilicon industry and the threat of Chinese tariffs against its products. Hemlock's $1 billion-plus plant in Montgomery County had been scheduled to begin production of materials for use in solar panels later this year but may never get cranking if the solar energy industry's finances don't improve in a big way.
Clarksville-area officials put on a brave face Monday, saying other industrial projects will still bring jobs to the area. Meanwhile, WPLN's Blake Farmer points out that the incentive millions paid by the state to Hemlock aren't coming back.
Hemlock Semiconductor's $1.2 billion Clarksville plant is still more than a year from opening, but the company has entered into talks with state officials about growing the site with an investment that would more than triple its polycrystalline silicon operation. The AP's Erik Schelzig has the story.
SEE ALSO: An update on the current construction work, which now has some 1,600 people on site
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