Pathways

HiTest Silicon Project

HiTestSilicon-LogoEdmonton-based HiTest Silicon proposes to invest up to $325 million in a new state-of-the-art silicon refining facility in Pend Oreille County, creating an estimated 400 construction jobs and 170 permanent full-time jobs. To bring this major new employer to the county, the Washington State Department of Commerce committed $300,000 in economic development assistance through the Pend Oreille County EDC.

Pend Oreille County Commissioners announced on Oct. 3, 2017 that the pre-construction application process for required permits is now under way.

    HiTest ForumNOTICE OF PUBLIC FORUM: A community forum on the proposed silicon plant will be held Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m. at Sadie Halstead Middle School in Newport. HiTest, state and county officials will present and answer questions. Those on hand will include representatives from HiTest Silicon, the Washington state departments of Ecology, Commerce and Health, the Pend Oreille Public Utility District and the Pend Oreille County Community Development Department. Everyone is invited to attend. Click for details.

Much of the silicon produced from sand at the refining center will be used by in-state solar cell manufacturers, computer chip makers and aluminum product manufacturers. As an additional potential boost to local employment, the refining process will use large quantities of wood chips from forest cullings.

Information is added here frequently, with posting dates noted.

Oct. 27, 2017: See the list of permits required for the project. Click for  HiTest permitting requirements (PDF)»
Oct. 16, 2017:
Answers to more than 25 frequently asked questions. Click to  HiTest project FAQ»
Oct. 3, 2017:
Pre-construction permitting process begins. Click for Oct 3, 2017 press release (PDF)»
Oct. 3, 2017:  HiTest Silicon presentation. Updated Nov. 8. 2017 with correction noted on page 10. Click for presentation (PDF)»

Read below for further information.

The Miner Newspapers archive

The Miner has reported on the HiTest project since the initial announcement in August 2016 of its potential siting in Pend Oreille County. Below are stories from the Miner archive, which will updated as ongoing coverage continues.

To read these stories, click to the Miner Online HiTest project page»

  • It’s A Go: HiTest To Start Permitting For Silicon Smelter (Oct 4, 2017)
  • HiTest By the Numbers (Oct 4, 2017)
  • Our Opinion: HiTest Announcement Welcome News (Oct 4, 2017)
  • PUD Sells Property To HiTest Sands, Inc. (Sept 20, 2017)
  • Still No Word On Silicon Smelter (Sept 13, 2017)
  • No HiTest Announcement Yet (Aug 23, 2017)
  • Questions Raised With County Over HiTest Smelter (Aug 9, 2017)
  • HiTest Still Studying Newport Site For Silicone Smelter (Aug 2, 2017)
  • HiTest President In Town (June 2, 2017)
  • Silicone Smelter May Be Near Newport After All (June 7, 2017)
  • HiTest Smelter Going To Addy (Feb 1, 2017)
  • County Receives $250,000 Grant For HiTest Planning (Nov 3, 2016)
  • Potential New Site For Smelter (Oct 5, 2016)
  • Our Opinion: Smelter Calls For Cautious Optimism (Aug 24, 2016)
  • Usk Area Eyed For $300 Million Silicone Smelter (Aug 24, 2016)

Other Resources