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Nashua, New Hampshire, United States:
GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ: GTAT) and Powertec Energy Corporation (“Powertec”) announced today the execution of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which states Powertec’s intention to purchase polysilicon technology and equipment from GT for their phase 2 and 3 expansion projects. Design work for these projects has begun and Powertec currently expects to begin ordering GT equipment and technology in the second half of 2014.
Powertec was founded in 2010 with WalsinLihwa Group, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), and Sino American Silicon Products Inc. (SAS) as major shareholders. In 2011, Powertec began its phase 1 project, located in Taiwan’s Changbin Industrial Park, at which time it purchased 6,000 MTA polysilicon production technology and equipment from GT. The equipment for phase 1 was shipped in 2012. Powertec’s phase 1 project is on track for commercial operation in the first half of 2014 in line with when the solar industry, which has experienced a downturn since 2011, is expected to recover.
“When our plant is fully operational next year, we will immediately begin debottlenecking work to increase our phase 1 capacity to 7,500 MTA. We expect to produce high-quality polysilicon at a cash cost that will enable us to successfully compete on a global scale,” said YiYi Tai, chairman of Powertec.“In addition, Powertec and GT have already started designing the phase 2 and 3 expansion projects. Construction of our next phase is expected to begin immediately after the successful startup of phase 1. Total capacity at our current site is expected to reach 27,500 MTA after all three phases are completed.”
With increasing demand for higher solar power conversion efficiency, polysilicon quality is becoming increasingly important. In addition, there is strong demand in Taiwan from leading Taiwan semiconductor companies such as UMC and SAS for ultra high-quality electronic-grade polysilicon. Powertec’s phase 1 high-quality capacity as well as phase 2 and 3 electronic grade capacity are expected to meet not only future solar demand, but also domestic semiconductor industry demand in Taiwan.
Scott Kuo, president of Powertec, said, “GT is recognized for its industry-leading polysilicon production technology with a successful track record of helping top-tier producers achieve high volume, low-cost production. The combination of our highly experienced team with GT’s ongoing support and cooperation with our current and future polysilicon production plans form a powerful partnership, and this MOU is a testament to our great confidence in each other.”
“Powertec is building a world class polysilicon facility,” said Dave Keck, GT Advanced Technologies executive vice president,world-wide sales and service. “It has a top tier organization with the experience to be a leader in supplying both electronic and solar grade polysilicon. GT and Powertec look forward to future collaboration as Powertec expands their polysilicon production capabilities.”
Established in October 2010, Powertec Energy Corporation is a Taiwan based company with a focus on producing high-quality polysilicon for solar and semiconductor industries. Powertec aims to promote solar energy and bring advancement to semiconductor materials with continuous improvement in polysilicon manufacturing technology.
About GT Advanced Technologies Inc.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is a diversified technology company with innovative crystal growth equipment and solutions for the global solar, LED and electronics industries. Our products accelerate the adoption of new advanced materials that improve performance and lower the cost of manufacturing. For additional information about GT Advanced Technologies, please visit www.gtat.com.
Certain of the information in this press release relate to the Company's future expectations, plans and prospects for its business and industry that constitute "forward-looking statements" for the purposes of the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to: Powertec intends to purchase polysilicon technology and equipment from GT for phase 2 and phase 3 expansion projects; Powertec expects to begin ordering GT equipment and technology in the second half of 2014; Powertec’s phase 1 project is on track for commercial operation in the first half of 2014; the solar industry is expected to recover from the downturn (which began in 2011) in the first half of 2014; Powertec expects to be able to produce high-quality polysilicon at a cash cost that will enable Powertec to successfully compete on a global scale; construction of Powertec’s next phase is expected to begin immediately after the successful start-up of phase 1; total capacity at Powertec’s current site is expected to reach 27,500 MTA after all three phases are completed; there is increasing demand for higher solar power conversion efficiency; and Powertec’s phase 1,2 and 3 capacity are expected to meet not only future solar demand, but also domestic semiconductor industry demand in Taiwan. . These forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the Company's control, which could cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements include the impact of continued decreased demand and/or excess capacity in the markets for the output of our solar and sapphire equipment, sales of the Company’s DSS equipment offering will be very limited in the future; additional impairment charges that may be incurred in the future may be material and may have an impact on the Company’s business; general economic conditions and the tightening credit market having an adverse impact on demand for the Company's products, the possibility that changes in government incentives may reduce demand for solar products( which would, in turn, reduce demand for our equipment), technological changes could render existing products or technologies obsolete, the Company may be unable to protect its intellectual property rights, competition from other manufacturers may increase, exchange rate fluctuations and conditions in the credit markets and economy may reduce demand for the Company's products and various other risks as outlined in GT Advanced Technologies Inc.'s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the statements under the heading "Risk Factors" in the company's transition report on Form 10-K for the nine month period ended December 31, 2012. Statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important factors. The statements in this press release represent GT Advanced Technologies Inc.'s expectations and beliefs as of the date of this press release. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause these expectations and beliefs to change. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.