It is the smallest tank of many more to come for the plant currently under construction in north Bradley County. The tanks are essential to Wacker’s polysilicon production process, Bachhuber said.
The tank was delivered to Wacker’s Charleston site via truck, but future tanks will be much larger and arrive by barge. Weighing approximately 10 tons, the first tank measures more than 10 feet in diameter and can hold more than 10,000 gallons.
“For our hyperpure polysilicon production process, attention to every small detail is of utmost importance,” Bachhuber said. “Wacker is committed to protection of the environment, our employees and community, and takes extraordinary precautionary steps in the design and engineering of such vessels to ensure long-term quality and integrity of the construction. The tanks have specialized coatings that support our production and are part of this important protection process, too.”
Ulrich Dankeri, project manager and logistics/engineering lead for the project, pointed out the first tank is critical for installation of the others in the future.
“Without this first tank, we would be unable to install the others,” he offered. “It is like a row of dominoes and each will connect. This first tank’s installation is very important. Soon there will be a steel erection above it and following that construction, there would be no chance to place this tank … so this first tank was absolutely necessary in order to proceed.”
One week of preparation was required before the tank could be placed in its permanent location on-site. As the tanks will sit partly underground, several layers of protective barriers were laid. The tank will serve as a buffer for silane.
The new plant is scheduled to begin operation by the end of 2013. The plant will employ some 650 full-time workers.