SOURCE: Hoku Scientific, Inc.

November 13, 2008 07:15 ET

Hoku Secures Silicon Metal Supplies for Polysilicon Production

POCATELLO, ID--(Marketwire - November 13, 2008) - Hoku Materials, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOKU), established to manufacture and sell polysilicon for the solar market, today announced the signing of a silicon metal supply agreement with Polymet Alloys, Inc., a privately-held metals industry supply company located in Birmingham, Alabama, which sources its silicon Metal exclusively from Rima Industrial S.A., a major Brazilian Ferroalloy and Non-Ferrous producer. Hoku plans to use the metallurgical grade silicon for the manufacture of trichlorosilane, a key raw material in the production of solar grade polysilicon using the Siemens process.

According to the terms of the agreement, Polymet will supply Hoku with guaranteed amounts of metallurgical grade silicon for three years beginning in 2009. The guaranteed annual amount of silicon metal is expected to be enough to support the start-up and initial ramp of Hoku's chemical plant in 2009, and can be expanded at both parties' option in the second and third years.

Hoku expects to sign one or more additional silicon metal supply agreements to diversify its supply chain and to secure additional quantities of material to support its expected full plant production level of up to 4,000 metric tons of solar grade polysilicon per year.

"Hoku is pleased to have established this partnership with Polymet Alloys, Inc. and Rima Industrial S.A., leaders in the silicon metal industry," said Dustin Shindo, chairman and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific. "Silicon metal is a key raw material for Siemens-based production of polysilicon, and another important way for Hoku to manage our production costs. The fixed rates negotiated under this agreement are fair and fit well within our projected financial models for our operations."

"Rima prides itself on being the major producer of Green Silicon Metal in the world using clean hydropower and sustainably managed timber from its own eucalyptus plantations," said Braulio Lage, Vice President of Polymet Alloys, Inc. "We feel there is a natural alignment between Polymet/Rima and Hoku's focus on renewable energy technology and are very pleased to have established a relationship with a key emerging player in the industry."

About Hoku Scientific, Inc.

Hoku Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOKU) is a diversified, clean energy technologies company with three business units: Hoku Materials, Hoku Solar and Hoku Fuel Cells. Hoku Materials plans to manufacture, market, and sell polysilicon for the solar market from its plant currently under construction in Pocatello, Idaho. Hoku Solar is a provider of turnkey photovoltaic systems in Hawaii. Hoku Fuel Cells has developed proprietary fuel cell membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for stationary and automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cells. For more information visit www.hokucorp.com

Hoku® and Hoku Scientific® are registered trademarks and Hoku Solar™ and Hoku Fuel Cells™ are trademarks of Hoku Scientific, Inc. Hoku Materials™ is a trademark of Hoku Materials, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Polymet Alloys, Inc.

Polymet Alloys, Inc., located in Birmingham, Alabama, has been in business since 1981 and has become a major player in the ferrous and non-ferrous alloy business. Specializing in the iron, steel, chemical, corrosion and specialty metals industries, Polymet is allied with a Brazilian alloy producer, RIMA INDUSTRIAL S.A., and has grown to become a leading alloy supplier in the U.S. and Canada. Polymet has established a trusted name in the metals industry by providing outstanding product and transactional quality. A sophisticated logistics network guarantees supply chain integrity and allows for just in time deliveries by using distribution operations in more than 10 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada and major ports of call along the east, west and gulf coasts. For more information visit www.polymetalloys.com

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve many risks and uncertainties. These statements relate to Hoku Materials's completion of its polysilicon production facility and its ability to successfully produce polysilicon; Hoku Materials's ability to produce up to 4,000 metric tons of polysilicon annually; Polymet's ability to deliver silicon metal within the specifications and in the amounts provided for under the agreement; the amount of silicon metal that will be sufficient to produce 4,000 metric tons of polysilicon annually; Hoku Materials's cost to purchase silicon metal; Polymet's ability to deliver silicon metal on time to meet Hoku Materials's planned chemical plant start-up, commissioning, and production ramp-up; Hoku Scientific's future financial performance; Hoku Scientific's business strategy and plans; and objectives of management for future operations. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "can," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Hoku Scientific's actual results, performance, time frames or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, time frames or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. In evaluating these statements, you should specifically consider the risks described in Hoku Scientific's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as applicable. Except as required by law, Hoku Scientific assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

Contact Information

  • For more information contact:

    Hoku Scientific, Inc.
    808-682-7800
    Email Contact

    Polymet Alloys, Inc.
    205-981-2200