Officials with Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor say they’re laying off three-fourths of their Clarksville employees shortly before production there was to begin.
Three-hundred of four-hundred workers will lose their jobs. A company spokesperson says the layoffs are in response to a significant oversupply of polysilicon and the threat of protective tariffs on Hemlock products sold in China. The $1.2 billion dollar plant was scheduled to begin production of polycrystalline silicon. The compound is used in solar energy panels. Hemlock President Andrew Tometich says the plant will be utilized and the company looks forward to production. When asked if the layoffs mean the plant might not open this year, Tometich conceded that is possible.