AMG Subsidiary Provides Update On Solar Grade Silicon Production
Amsterdam, 22 April 2008 — AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. (“AMG”, EURONEXT AMSTERDAM: “AMG”) announced that its 50.5% subsidiary Timminco Limited (TSX: TIM), through its wholly-owned subsidiary Becancour Silicon Inc. (“BSI”) has provided an update on its solar grade silicon production. In its press release Timminco stated:
During 2007, BSI shipped 89 metric tons (“mt”) of solar grade silicon metal to customers and concluded four long-term contracts for the production and shipment of up to 6,000 mt annually, commencing in 2009.
During the first quarter of 2008, BSI completed the commissioning of its 3,600 mt solar grade plant with the second and third of three 1,200 mt lines starting on February 2 and 28 respectively. During this ramp-up period in the first quarter, BSI produced and shipped 100 mt of solar grade silicon an average selling price in excess of $60 per kilogram. Each shipment was tested by an independent laboratory and met specifications set by customers.
Based on its own analysis and the acceptance of its product by leading companies in the solar industry, Timminco announced the expansion of BSI’s solar grade silicon capacity to 14,400 mt per year, with the incremental capacity on stream by the end of the second quarter of 2009. Since this announcement on February 22, Timminco has placed orders for the critical production equipment and will begin construction of the new facility in the second quarter of 2008 as originally planned. At the same time, the ramp-up of operations at the existing facility is proceeding in line with expectations to achieve the targeted production rate by the beginning of the third quarter 2008. Timminco’s cumulative capital expenditures for the existing and new facilities are expected to be in excess of $90 million.
On March 26, 2008, BSI announced the signing of an agreement to supply solar grade silicon to Q-Cells AG (“Q-Cells”), the world’s largest manufacturer of solar cells. Q-Cells has recognized Timminco as “one of the world’s leading specialists in specialty and light metals,” and has stated that “in extensive tests, Q-Cells has achieved very good results in manufacturing cells.” Shipments to Q-Cells were included in the 100 mt of solar grade silicon shipped in the first quarter.
BSI’s process is the subject of two patents pending for manufacturing processes. During 2007, the company filed a formal patent application with the U.S. and international patent authorities in respect of one of its processes for purifying low-grade silicon metal. The company has a 2006 priority date in respect of this patent application. The international patent examiner has provided a positive report on such application. The company filed a second patent application in 2008 in respect of another process for purifying low-grade silicon metal.
AMG, incorporated in the Netherlands, is a global leader in the production of highly engineered specialty metal products and advanced vacuum furnace systems. AMG serves growing industries worldwide with its unique combination of metallurgical engineering expertise and production know-how. AMG is a market leader in many of its products and systems, which are critical to the production of key components for the aerospace, energy (including solar and nuclear), electronics, optics, chemicals, construction and transportation industries. AMG has two operating divisions of businesses, Advanced Materials and Engineering Systems, and owns a majority interest in publicly-listed Timminco Limited (TSX: “TIM”).
The Advanced Materials Division develops and produces niche specialty metals and complex metals products, many of which are used in demanding, safety-critical, high-stress environments. AMG is one of a limited number of significant producers globally of niche specialty metals, such as ferrovanadium, ferronickel-molybdenum, aluminum master alloys and additives, chromium metal and ferrotitanium, used by steel, aluminum, chemical and superalloy producers for aerospace, automotive, energy, electronics, optics, chemicals, construction and other applications. Other key products produced by AMG include specialty alloys for titanium and superalloys, coating materials, tantalum and niobium oxides, vanadium chemicals and antimony trioxide.
The Engineering Systems Division designs, engineers and produces advanced vacuum furnace systems and operates vacuum heat treatment facilities. AMG is a global leader in supplying technologically-advanced vacuum furnace systems to customers in the aerospace, energy (including solar and nuclear), transportation, electronics, superalloys and specialty steel industries. Examples of furnace systems produced by AMG include vacuum remelting, solar silicon melting and crystallization, vacuum induction melting, vacuum heat treatment and high pressure gas quenching, vacuum precision casting, turbine blade coating and sintering. AMG also provides vacuum case-hardening heat treatment services on a tolling basis to customers through facilities equipped with vacuum heat treatment furnaces.
Timminco Limited is a majority controlled, publicly-listed subsidiary of AMG. Timminco is a leader in the production of upgraded metallurgical silicon for the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic energy industry. Timminco also produces silicon metal and magnesium products for use in a broad range of industrial applications.
AMG operates globally with production facilities in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Australia and also has sales and customer service offices in Belgium, Russia, China and Japan (website: www.amg-nv.com).
For further information please contact:
AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. +1 610 975 4901
Director of Corporate Communications
Timminco Limited +1 416 364 5171
Executive Vice President and CFO
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