As already reported, an equipment malfunction led to a hydrogen explosion at the polysilicon production plant in Charleston, Tennessee, on September 7. As a result, damaged piping leaked chlorosilane, a chemical that creates hydrogen chloride as it comes into contact with moisture in the air. Assisted by external emergency responders, the site’s fire fighters immediately contained the chemical with water. During the incident, two site employees were evaluated at the local hospital and were released the same day. Thanks to the immediate action of all response teams involved, there was no risk to the community.
“While we are working diligently towards resuming production, the safety of our employees and the community is our top priority,” said Tobias Brandis, Global President WACKER POLYSILICON. “Therefore, production will not start until a thorough inspection is completed and it is certain that the facility is safe.” From today’s perspective, restarting will take several months, Brandis said. “During the production downtime, we will use personnel to support repair efforts and other site activities as needed. We also will use this downtime to provide our employees with advanced training courses.”
WACKER is in close contact with its customers and will keep them informed on polysilicon availability.