10 August 2010 22:07 [Source: ICIS news]
By Brian Ford
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Solutia is working to become a one-stop supplier of a crucial part of the solar energy market in ?xml:namespace>
Solutia makes solar module encapsulants, which are used to protect electronics in photovoltaic (PV) modules.
With its plant in
Solutia is in a unique position because the
“We see the Chinese PV market as growing the most,” he said.
Solutia announced this year two planned expansions at its
In April, the company said it planned to expand its Saflex PVB capacity at
In July, the company said it planned to expand its operations in
The July announcement was made after Solutia purchased Germany-based EVA encapsulant producer Etimex Solar for $325m (€247m).
The ability to produce both EVA and PVB at
Reed said EVA makes up 80-90% of the solar encapsulant market, while PVB makes up most of the rest.
EVA and PVB are the only encapsulants with “a legacy of durability data,” he said.
The market for encapsulants is “very conservative,” Reed said.
The encapsulant “makes up 3-10% of total costs [of the solar module] but it is a very important component,” as solar modules are built to last 20-25 years.
“We are seeing customers who want a significant benefit in costs and performance before they will even consider a change,” Reed said.
“To an extent,
Solutia cited an industry report as saying
Solar encapsulants are a part of Solutia’s growing advanced interlayer businesses, which saw $208m in net sales during the second quarter, up by 30% from the same quarter in 2009. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by $5m to $44m compared with the prior-year second quarter.
($1 = €0.76)
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