Boost for germanium consumption

Materials technology group Umicore is to increase significantly its production capacity for germanium semi-conductor substrates for use in high-efficiency solar cells. Umicore will also invest in the expansion of its capacity for lithium-ion battery materials. The combined investment level is expected to reach some € 45 million. The new production capacity for germanium wafers is to be set up at its Quapaw site in Oklahoma, USA. Construction will start in July and is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2010. The facility will complement Umicore’s existing production site in Olen, Belgium, effectively doubling Umicore’s wafer production capacity to 900,000. Quapaw has the advantage of being close to the activity’s sizeable customer base in the USA. (more…)

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