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MEMC Electronic Materials' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We are able to leverage the value chain and take advantage of low industry pricing for poly, wafers and modules. We maintain a strong solar project pipeline at around 3 gigawatts, while interconnecting another closed to 150 megawatts of projects in the first quarter.

Our track record enabled us to complete debt financing for 60 megawatts facility in Bulgaria. We are on track to sell this facility and other European projects this year. Our Solar Energy profile pipeline remains diverse and that broad portfolio helps us to maintain scale and use resiliency -- resilience on any specific geography.

Our priorities in the Solar Energy business for 2012 are as follows: one, reduce OpEx by over 30% with the consolidation of 2 divisions and a focused development spend; two, minimize capital expenditure in the upstream material business; three, drive leading-edge cost structure throughout the value chain; and finally, ramps [indiscernible] installation consistent with the balance sheet capacity.

Now I'm going to give you a quick update on the restructuring that we announced in December 2011. Our restructuring remains on track. We continue to implement best practices across sites as well as aggressive productivity initiatives. We have closed our Sherman, Texas wafering facility, moved additional equipment out of the St. Peters site, shuttered our Merano polysilicon facility; and ramped and improved performance in Ipoh, Malaysia, which is a site we moved assets to from higher cost locations. We have consolidated business units and have reduced headcount by more than 1,300. In Kuching, we continue to refine our technology while minimizing spend and the cost in our Meca [ph] JV continues to be world class. We move quickly and decisively on our restructuring and we continue to be focused on identifying additional opportunities for savings.

Lastly, we expect our liquidity to improve in 2012 with the sale of the European and other projects, recovery of the semiconductor market and our continued restructuring efforts. Mark will talk in more detail about our balance sheet and our focus on cash in 2012.

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