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DOW CORNING DEDICATES $25 MILLION PILOT PLANT

 EAST SELKIRK, Manitoba, Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- Dow Corning and its subsidiary, Dow Corning Silicon Energy Systems, today dedicated a $25 million pilot plant in East Selkirk. The pilot plant was built to demonstrate a newly developed process to produce silicon metal, which is used in the production of silicones, aluminum and electronics equipment.
 Jim May, president of Dow Corning Silicon Energy Systems, said he was encouraged by initial results of the project. The facility, part of the subsidiary's Meadow Materials branch, began operating on a small scale in July.
 "We are applying a technology never used before," May said. "This new process is expected to be more energy-efficient and environmentally cleaner than conventional techniques for making silicon metal."
 Dow Corning President Larry Reed said he was looking forward to moving into full operation of the pilot plant.
 "If we are successful in this venture -- and eventually achieve our goal of a full-scale commercial facility to manufacture silicon metal -- we'll create jobs and add to the local tax base," Reed said. "At the same time, Dow Corning's customers will benefit by the continuous improvement of both cost and quality of silicone products in the future."
 The Meadow Materials project is unusual in that it involves funding from both the Canadian and U.S. governments. Funding was provided by Dow Corning Corp., the U.S. Department of Energy, the Canadian government through Western Economic Diversification and the Province of Manitoba.
 "The Dow Corning facility is a testament to the achievements that come from the cooperative efforts of government and industry," said Western Economic Diversification Minister Charles Mayer. "We were pleased to provide repayable assistance toward this initiative, which created a new industry for Manitoba, introduced new technology to the West and offered new employment opportunities for area residents."
 "The completion of this impressive pilot plant should place us a step closer to our ultimate goal of establishing a full-scale commercial silicon plant in Manitoba," said James Downey, deputy premier of Manitoba and Energy and Mines minister. "Manitoba's abundance of low- cost hydroelectric energy should play a vital role in helping to establish this plant."
 Construction of the Meadow Materials plant began in October 1990 after studies showed silicon dioxide successfully could be used to produce silicon metal on a small scale. The facility now employs 30 people, 24 of whom were hired locally.
 "The operation of the pilot plant will allow us to determine how efficient our system is on an intermediate scale," May said. "We currently plan to operate this plant through 1993, and then make a decision on construction of a full-scale commercial facility."
 Dow Corning Corporation, a Michigan-based company, is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning Incorporated. Dow Corning has 35 major manufacturing locations around the world and serves customers in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia and the entire Pacific Basin.
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Kara Kuchinic-Wittenberg of Dow Corning, 517-496-5994~
 (DOW)


CO: Dow Corning Corporation ST: Michigan, Manitoba IN: CHM SU:

SB -- DE018 -- 2432 11~18~92 14:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1992
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