Wacker Chemie breaks ground in Bradley County - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Wacker Chemie breaks ground in Bradley County

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)-- You needn't look far past Friday's ground-breaking ceremony to realize that Wacker Chemie AG has been reshaping a more than 100-acre stretch of Bradley County for months, to get its polysilicon manufacturing and processing plant ready by 2014.

"I am confident that we will bring the site on stream, in time and on budget," says Dr. Rudolph Staudigl, Chief Executive Officer.

Wacker's only such facility outside Germany will create, cook and cut the polysilicon building blocks for solar energy panels and semi-conductors.

"It doesn't have the supplier magnetism of a Volkswagen of course," Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis says.

"But eventually there will be some of that, I think."

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam believes suppliers won't be the only prospective employers getting a message.

"People see a company like Wacker make a one and a half-billion dollar investment in your state, it's a really big deal to do that and they become interested," Gov. Haslam says.

Wacker's promised 650 jobs, each paying on average about $42,000 a year.

In return, Tennessee and Bradley County have waived all taxes til 2014. Wacker will pay only half of its real and personal property taxes for the next twenty five years, a guesstimated value of $44.8 million.

"We have already started hiring engineers," Wacker Chemical CEO Dr. Ingomar Kovar says.

"We've already hired Human Resources people, corporate communications, so we will be hiring in all areas."

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