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Plans to build a Dutch silicon refining facility revived

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 4 minuten

Now that Europe’s eyes have been opened to the strategic dependence on technology and materials, solar entrepreneur Gosse Boxhoorn is making another attempt to build a silicon plant in the Netherlands.

His first attempt failed because of the credit crunch, the second because of the stranglehold China had taken on the PV industry. But Gosse Boxhoorn, in the distant past CEO of Shell Solar and since then an entrepreneur in solar energy, is giving it another go. Together with business partner Lars Boetje, he’s breathing new life into plans to build a silicon refining facility on Dutch soil. This time not only to provide solar cell producers with raw material but also the fast-growing battery and semiconductor industry.

Compared to ten or fifteen years ago, a new wind is blowing in Europe. Reduction of CO2 emissions has become a priority following the Paris Climate Agreement, and industrial policy is no longer a dirty word since the COVID crisis. The Net-Zero Act, the Chips Act, the Critical Raw Materials Act, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism – European countries are embracing measures that help fight climate change and/or support local (green) industry.

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