DuPont expands solar material capacity

As the solar energy market continues to expand worldwide, chemical companies supplying the necessary materials are enjoying the rising wave of growth. DuPont said it expects overall sales of its photovoltaic materials products to exceed $1bn by 2012 and has announced today that its plan to increase its Tedlar polyvinyl flouride (PVF) production capacity.

The investment represents an increase of more than 50% for the company’s monomer and resin capacity used in producing the Tedlar films, said DuPont. The films are used as backsheet component of photovoltaic modules. New monomer and resin facilities are being constructed at the DuPont Louisville, KY, and Fayetteville, NC, sites.

DuPont said the facilities will start-up in mid-2010.

“This investment supports the significant increase in the global market demand for clean, renewable energy,” said David B. Miller, group vice president – DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies. “Our capacity expansions are critical steps in growing the Tedlar(R) business and maintaining our market leadership in backsheets for solar panels that deliver the long-term, reliable power supply that our customers have come to expect from their investment in renewable power generation.”

DuPont said it had already implemented capacity expansions for Tedlar(R) PV2100 series film this year and is completing the engineering and design for a planned expansion of Tedlar PV2000 series film production, which together will more than double Tedlar film capacity for the photovoltaic industry.

The investment will cost $120m.

For more on chemical companies cashing in on the growing renewable energy market, you can read my ICB article entitled “Alternative Energizers“. The green blog also recently posted an announcement from Japanese chemical company Tokuyama about its new polycrystalline silicon facility investment in Malaysia.

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