HEMLOCK — Hemlock Semiconductor Group announced Monday it will lay off about 400 employees in Michigan and Tennessee in the coming weeks in response to significant oversupply in the polysilicon industry and the threat of potential tariffs on its products sold into China.
These actions will affect approximately 300 employees at Hemlock Semiconductor’s Tennessee site and 100 at its Michigan site, as the company evaluates the longer-term impact of these conditions on its business. Should market conditions persist, these layoffs could become permanent.
“This is a difficult but necessary decision to enable Hemlock Semiconductor to navigate the volatility in the polysilicon and solar industries,” said Andrew Tometich, president of Hemlock Semiconductor. “The unresolved trade disputes among the U.S., China and Europe are a major factor in Hemlock Semiconductor’s actions as the threat of tariffs on U.S. polysilicon imported into China has significantly decreased orders from China, which is home to one of the largest markets for our products.”
As a result of these decisions, Hemlock Semiconductor’s Michigan site will continue to reduce production to align with current customer demand. The Tennessee plant, which is nearly completed, will maintain a minimum workforce focused on safely maintaining the site for eventual production. A number of factors will impact the exact timing of the start-up of the Tennessee plant, including customer demand and resolution of the trade disputes.
“Hemlock Semiconductor has been in business for 52 years and remains a leading player in its industry,” Tometich said. “As one of the industry leaders we will manage through this period of extreme volatility and uncertainty and will emerge as a group of companies that will remain viable for the long-term.”
Hemlock Semiconductor Group consists of several joint venture companies owned by Dow Corning Corp., Shin-Etsu Handotai and Mitsubishi Materials Corp. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and solar cells and modules. Hemlock Semiconductor began its operations in 1961.
More at www.hscpoly.com.