Suntech Power, a producer of crystalline silicon solar panels, and Calisolar, a vertically integrated manufacturer of solar silicon, wafers and cells, have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to construct a solar silicon manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada.

As set forth in the LOI, Suntech will assist with financing the facility, and enter a multi-year agreement to purchase solar silicon produced by Calisolar at the new manufacturing facility.

Suntech North American operations president Steven Chan said that the company looked at various alternatives for investment in Ontario and has determined its commitment to the silicon refining industry.

Calisolar CEO Sandra Lin said that the company’s unique silicon refining technology was developed in Ontario and provides significant cost and environmental advantages compared to traditional processes.