$1B Polysilicon Plant Planned in Saudi Arabia

First Energy Bank (FEB) Tuesday announced plans to build a polysilicon production plant in Saudi Arabia.

FEB expects the plant to go online in 2013, providing 
7,500 tons per year of polysilicon to the regions growing manufacturing
base for photovoltaic solar cells and modules.

Vahan Zanoyan, chief executive of First Energy, told Reuters the project would cost about $1 billion, and be financed through a 40% equity stake and 60% debt.

The polysilicon plant will be the largest plant of its kind in both
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

The project, which will be managed and developed by Cosmos
Industrial Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of FEB, in partnership
with PMD and is expected to start production in 2013.

Project Management and Development Company (PMD), a Saudi based industrial group, will also participate in the project to be located in Al Jubail Industrial City 2.

The project is expected to create approximately 400 job opportunities for Saudi nationals. It is expected that future expansion of the project facility (in second phase) would include investments in downstream sector such as manufacturing of ingots, wafers, cell and modules, FEB said.

"Renewable sources of energy will remain a priority globally, and solar energy in particular is a logical industry to take off and flourish in the Middle East and North Africa region. We are therefore bullish on the polysilicon industry, and we are particularly happy to launch such a significant plant in one of the most important industrial hubs in the Gulf region," Zanoyan said.

Cosmos, a subsidiary of FEB, was established as an investment company focused on investing in energy related projects throughout the region. As the project owner and developer, Cosmos will be responsible for driving the construction process.

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