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MEMC dedicates 200mm silicon wafer facility in Sherman, Texas.

ST. PETERS, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 26, 1997--MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (NYSE:WFR) today dedicated its latest 200mm (8 inch) silicon wafer facility at its MEMC Southwest joint venture site in Sherman, Texas. The joint venture is 80% owned by MEMC and 20% owned by Texas Instruments. Present at the event were local dignitaries, customers, suppliers and members of MEMC's Board of Directors.

"Today's dedication reaffirms our commitment to building the capacity necessary to supply our customers with advanced large diameter and epitaxial products into the next century," commented Ludger H. Viefhues, Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that our joint venture strategy will be of continuing importance in the years to come."

The facility is fully integrated from crystal pulling through polishing and epitaxial production. State-of-the-art computer integrated manufacturing allows real-time data access and control of processes to ensure the highest attainable level of product quality. Tool sets have also been designed to minimize cycle time and allow for factory flexibility.

While the facility has an initial capacity of 190,000 wafers per month, infrastructure has been put in place to permit, as market demand dictates, the ramping of the facility to over 300,000 wafers per month. The plant currently has 300 employees and is anticipated to rise to over 500 employees when fully staffed.

"MEMC Southwest will initially focus on serving our customers in the North American marketplace," added Marcel Coinne, Chairman of MEMC Southwest and President of MEMC-North America. "The infrastructure in place provides the flexibility to economically add high quality 200mm polished and epitaxial capacity with advanced features to meet our customer's requirements."

The joint venture grew its first 200mm silicon ingot in December 1996. After completing installation of the first tool set in March 1997, evaluation wafers were shipped to customers for plant qualification. MEMC Southwest consists of the former captive TI silicon wafer operations which produce 125mm (5 inch) and 150mm (6 inch) polished and epitaxial wafers in addition to the newly dedicated 200mm facility.

MEMC is the second-largest producer of silicon wafers in the world. The silicon wafer is the fundamental building block of semiconductors, which, in turn, are found in every type of microelectronics application, including computer systems, telecommunications equipment, automobiles, consumer electronics products, industrial automation and control systems, and analytical and defense systems.

Headquartered in St. Peters, MO, MEMC operates manufacturing facilities directly or through joint ventures in China, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. MEMC is the leading worldwide producer of silicon wafers outside of Japan and is the only non-Japanese silicon wafer manufacturer with manufacturing and research facilities in Japan. -0- News releases and other information about MEMC are available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at .

CONTACT: Sam Duggan

Director, Investor Relations

(314) 279-5920


Michele Katz/Jessica Davis

Morgen-Walke Associates

Press: Lee Foley/Ann Travers

(212) 850-5600
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 26, 1997
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