Elkem Solar wants to restart solar block production in Porsgrunn, Norway

Oslo, Norway, 9 September 2015: Elkem Solar wants to reopen parts of the former REC Solar factory in Porsgrunn, Norway to produce solar blocks and create 70-80 new jobs.

Elkem Solar has entered into an agreement with the estate of the former REC plant which allows the company to start up new production in parts of the plant in Porsgrunn.  

– This is what we can call green growth.  We want to restart production in the empty factory, develop new renewable technology and create about 80 new industry jobs, says CEO of Elkem Solar Inge Grubben-Strømnes. He also expects that the project will create a number of indirect jobs and sees a potential for further growth.  

– Our initiative at Herøya will be an extension of our production at Elkem Solar in Kristiansand. The two factories in Porsgrunn and Kristiansand will become part of the world’s most climate and energy  efficient value chain from quartz to solar panels, says Grubben-Strømnes. – This move enhances the integration between Elkem Solar and REC Solar and shows our ambition to grow.

Start-up in 2016

The agreement is subject to Elkem Solar spending the next six months verifying the need for technology development, equipment upgrades and the overall business case of the project. The company has sought public R&D funding and Grubben-Strømnes underlines the need for support from both local and national authorities to be able to realise the project.

– This project is associated with substantial risks and the costs of upgrading the factory equipment is expected to be several hundred million Norwegian kroner. We need politicians who see and value Norwegian industry and can support us in developing new, state of the art production technology and creating high-skilled jobs, says Grubben-Strømnes.


For more information, please contact:

Kristin Karlstad, VP Public Relations, Elkem Solar: +47 992 26 604


About Elkem Solar: Elkem Solar has developed and industrialised a proprietary break-through production technology for solar grade silicon, ESS®, requiring approximately 25% of the energy compared to traditional methods. Elkem Solar is situated in Kristiansand, Norway, and the company currently employs approximately 190 people. Elkem Solar is owned by Bluestar Elkem Holding, Hong Kong.  www.elkemsolar.com


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