US Solutia eyes growth on energy effiency, solar power

27 July 2010 17:29  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US specialty chemicals producer Solutia expects to increase sales as demand rises for both solar modules and for products that keep automobiles and buildings cool in the summer, executives said on Tuesday.

This year, the company should begin selling a type of solar-absorbing polyvinyl butyral (PVB) to be used in windows for automobiles, said Jeff Quinn, chief executive. He made his comments during an earnings conference call.

By absorbing rays from the sun, the PVB will reduce heat inside of the automobiles, Quinn said. As a result, the vehicles would require less air conditioning to stay cool.

This, in turn, would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from fuel-powered automobiles and increase the battery life of electric and hybrid vehicles, Quinn said.

Solutia has also developed a window film - called EnerLogic - that would deflect heat from buildings during the summer and preserve it in the winter, the company said.

Demand for EnerLogic could grow as new regulations encourage energy efficiency in buildings.

Meanwhile, Solutia said it expects that demand for its encapsulants for solar modules will continue to grow as governments in China, Japan and the US continue adopting regulations that promote renewable energy.

Solutia's PVB is also used in solar modules. Recently, the company started making another encapsulant, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), the result of its recent €240m ($312m) acquisition of Etimex Solar.

Shares of Solutia traded at $15.00 on the New York Stock Exchange, down 4.40%.

While Solutia's second-quarter net income increased year over year, its gross profit changed little, as higher costs offset higher sales.

Solutia attributed much of the cost increases to more expensive raw materials.

($1 = €0.77)

For more on Solutia visit ICIS company intelligence
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By: Al Greenwood
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