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Directory:The Silicon Mine of the Netherlands

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Page first featured January 31, 2009

Why do some solar silicon companies get sidelined after Gosse Boxhoorn makes them successful? We see a trend. Others see a conspiracy by oil companies to stall the move to solar independence and maintain control of the status quo.

What do you see in this story?

Gosse Boxhoorn builds up the "Shell" Solar panel factory. It closes in 2003. "Solland" starts in 2004 with solar panel product capacity sold out until 2010. "Delta Energy" buys in and then fires all the successful Solland directors. Gosse Boxshoorn is so successful at this business he gets European recognition as "Top Executive of the Year for 2008" before he is fired. A sister company he was working on builds "The Silicon Mine" with all product sold out for 10 more years. "Essent" as partner, may become another "Delta Energy" story. Dejá Vú?. Watch and you decide.

Contents

The Story Unfolds

___ translated the following from « oudernieuwer » Solland, een complot in Nederlandse zonnepanelen(?) - (Jan. 29, 2009)

"The story starts with Gosse Boxhoorn. Until 2003, he was leading the Dutch factory of Shell solar panels until it closed. Out of frustration, he started the solar panel factory Solland in 2004 in the Netherlands. Solland has got a very effective product. It uses 25% less of the rare silicon, but delivers maybe even better output. Growth of 2,800% was reached within several years. all All production is sold until 2010. The ten years beyond that already 50% is sold. Germany is a big buyer. Not a single one of their panels are retailed in the Netherlands.
In 2007, Solland sold 90% shares to the energy company Delta, in order to gain money to support the growth. Delta is a Dutch energy company that buys relatively 8 times more nuclear power than other Dutch energy companies. They produce relatively less CO2 this way, but these nuclear interests may conflict with a healthy Solland. In October 2008, the company grew and all of Solland’s directors were fired by Delta. At this time, (state-funded) labor reduction is in place and solar panel production has been reduced. The Delta-appointed director blames it on the credit crisis. Meanwhile, competitors like Sunrain are doubling their sales in Europe. This deconstruction of Solland is a huge contrast with the success story described above.
In the mean time, Gosse Boxhoorn had already started working on a factory for production of silicon wafers. This is the stuff solar cells are made off. In spite of him being fired at Solland, he went ahead with building “The Silicon Mine”. They were supposed to have been sister companies. Although the factory is not finished, production of the first ten years is already sold. One of the financial partners is Essent, another Dutch energy company. And maybe Gosse Boxhoor better try to lose them. It could be that producing sustainable energy solutions for individuals is not in Essent's best interest…

Research and Development

"TSM will apply well proven techniques in producing silicon with a high degree of purity. It is working in close partnership with Evonik Degussa GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Evonik Industries AG, which is a multinational corporation consistently aligned to high-margin specialty chemistry, with focus on among other the development of future-oriented technologies, such as production of polycrystalline silicon for the solar industry by a novel production process. From a new own plant at Chemelot, Evonik Degussa will supply TSM with Siridion® chlorosilanes, which are used as raw materials in the production of poly silicon.
The construction of the plant involves an investment of around 400 million euro. TSM will provide employment to at least 400 people. In the early stages the factory will produce 3,750 tonnes of solar-grade silicon a year (5 per cent of the estimated world market in 2010). In the long term it will be possible to expand capacity to 14,000 tonnes a year." (TSM)

Companies

  • Solland - manufactures solar cells using innovative production methods. Research focuses on solar cell cost reduction through the continuous improvement of solar cell efficiency, yield and production methods.
  • First solar grade silicon factory in the Netherlands - The first solar grade silicon plant in the Netherlands, The Silicon Mine (TSM), is to open in late 2009. The silicon will be produced in two adjacent factories at the DSM Chemelot site in Sittard/Geleen and will be suitable for the production of wafers, the base material for the manufacture of solar cells.


Products in the Marketplace

In the News

  • Niemand is immuun voor de crisis - Solland Solar, Nederlands trots op het gebied van zonne-energie, verkeert in zwaar weer. De enige grote producent van zonnecellen ziet al zijn pril opgebouwde bedrijvigheid snel wegvallen. (Jan. 23, 2009)
  • Essent stapt in zonne-energie - E ssent heeft een belang van 18 procent genomen in The Silicon Mine (TSM), de siliciumfabriek die in Geleen wordt gebouwd. Silicium is de grondstof voor zonnecellen. Essent neemt de aandelen voor ruim 10 miljoen euro over van het Zeeuwse energiebedrijf Delta, dat een belang van bijna 30 procent in de nieuwe fabriek had. De rest van het belang is voor een onbekend bedrag verkocht aan DSM en een aantal kleine investeerders. 
 (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • GT Solar Signs $91 Million Contract with The Silicon Mine B.V. of the Netherlands - entered into a contract to supply The Silicon Mine B.V. (TSM), of the Netherlands, with polysilicon reactors and converters worth approximately $91M. The equipment will be used by TSM in conjunction with its announced plans to launch the first solar grade silicon plant in the Netherlands, expected to open in late 2009. (GTSolar"; April 4, 2008)

Discussion

See Discussion page

Contact

TSM

Gosse Boxhoorn
Mijnweg 1
6167 AC Geleen
The Netherlands
T +31 (0)46 476 12 22

See also

- Other Directory listingsLatestA-IJ-RS-ZTreeNews
- PESWiki home page

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