Hoku hires engineer for $250M plant
Hoku Scientific Inc. took a step forward yesterday in its venture into solar energy by announcing it has awarded a contract to CH2M Hill Lockwood Greene to provide engineering and related services for a planned $250 million polysilicon production plant.
The value of the contract was not disclosed. The plant is being built by a new subsidiary, Hoku Materials.
Scott Paul, Hoku Scientific's vice president of business development, said yesterday that his company is still considering Singapore among other locations for the plant, but has not made a final decision. The plant will manufacture electricity-producing solar panels and the silicon component needed to make them.
"(CH2M Hill Lockwood Greene) has performed projects for many of the leading polysilicon manufacturers worldwide over the past several years, and we are confident that their experience in the polysilicon industry will help us to complete this project in time to meet our company's objectives," said Dustin Shindo, chairman, president and chief executive of Hoku Scientific.
CH2M Hill Lockwood Greene is a unit of the Englewood, Colo., design and engineering firm CH2M Hill, a privately held company that has 18,000 employees worldwide.
Hoku Scientific said in May it planned to reorganize its business into three units. Hoku Fuel Cells will develop fuel-cell technology. Hoku Materials will manufacture and sell polysilicon for solar applications, and Hoku Solar will manufacture solar modules.
Last week, Hoku said it has finished installing the last of 10 fuel-cell power plants in its demonstration project for the U.S. Navy.
The systems, manufactured by IdaTech LLC, are part of a contract with the Navy to test Hoku components intended to boost efficiency.
They produce about 1.5 kilowatts each. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project was scheduled for today at Pearl Harbor.