ST. PETERS, Mo., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE: WFR) today announced that it has resumed production of 300mm wafers at its facility in Utsunomiya, Japan following the earthquake that occurred on March 11.
The facility has been shipping unaffected product and has resumed production on qualified process tools, while continuing to inspect, qualify, and ramp additional equipment. Production yield on operating tools has been comparable to pre-earthquake levels, raw material availability has been good, and power availability has improved. Full 300mm production is targeted to be achieved by the middle of May. The facility's small volume of 200mm wafer capacity, previously scheduled to be moved to the company's Ipoh, Malaysia site during the third quarter of 2011, is now in the process of being moved ahead of the original schedule.
"I am very proud of the character and resolve displayed by our employees in responding to this disaster and recovery," commented Ahmad Chatila, MEMC's Chief Executive Officer. "As a company we came together, forming worldwide response teams within hours of the earthquake, to make certain that our first priority, the safety and security of all employees and their families, was assured. Also within hours of the quake, we began facility inspections and hundreds of additional employees around the world initiated efforts to repair damage and resume production. My sincerest thanks go out to our employees whose commitment and focus enabled us to resume production so quickly. However, our foremost thoughts remain with the Japanese people during the recovery."
"In the overall semiconductor and electronics industries, many have been affected by this disaster in Japan. We continue to listen intently to needs and ideas in the marketplace to help lessen the impact of this tragedy on our customers, potential customers and others in the industry."
MEMC expects to provide additional details as part of its first quarter earnings report on May 4.
MEMC is a global leader in semiconductor and solar technology. MEMC has been a pioneer in the design and development of silicon wafer technologies for over 50 years. With R&D and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, MEMC enables the next generation of high performance semiconductor devices and solar cells. Through its SunEdison subsidiary, MEMC is also a developer of solar power projects and a worldwide leader in solar energy services. MEMC's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WFR" and is included in the S&P 500 Index. For more information about MEMC, please visit www.memc.com.
Certain matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements, including that full 300mm production is targeted to be achieved by the middle of May. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include; damage to Japanese customers or suppliers; damage to transportation and logistical infrastructure that could increase shipping costs or cause delays in receiving materials and equipment or delays in the shipment of wafers; delays or interruptions in reaching full production capacity; changes in the availability, cost or quality of insurance coverage; changes in general economic and financial market conditions; and the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, and other risks described in MEMC's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K for the 2010 fiscal year. These forward-looking statements represent the company's judgment as of the date of this press release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
SOURCE MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.