DuPont: expansion for photovoltaic market

DuPont has announced that it is investing USD 175 million at its Circleville, Ohio, site to complete a multi-phase expansion of high-performance DuPont Tedlar PV2001 series oriented film production li…

DuPont has announced that it is investing USD 175 million at its Circleville, Ohio, site to complete a multi-phase expansion of high-performance DuPont Tedlar PV2001 series oriented film production line. This investment adds to the USD 120 million in capacity expansions, announced in August 2009, for raw materials used to make the film, bringing the total commitment of these two phases to USD 295 million. Tedlar films serve as the critical component of photovoltaic (PV) backsheets, providing long-term durability and performance for PV modules in all-weather conditions. DuPont expects the PV market to grow rapidly over the next several years, driving the demand for Tedlar and other new materials that increase the lifetime and efficiency of solar cells and modules. Overall sales of company products into the PV industry are anticipated to exceed USD 1 billion by 2012. The film line expansion uses existing and retrofitted assets. With this Tedlar expansion, the company can support global demand of more than 10 gigawatts (GW) of PV module production, delivering DuPont technology to help meet increasing needs for energy and environmental sustainability. This reflects the company“s recently announced commitment to focus on meeting four emerging global trends, one of which is decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. Film production is scheduled to start up in September 2011. The photovoltaic market increasingly demands materials that enable modules to reliably deliver power for decades, said Dave Miller, president – DuPont Electronics & Communications. This major expansion underscores our commitment to maintaining DuPont leadership in the PV industry and specifically in the backsheet materials market for solar panels. Manufacturing Tedlar involves converting a vinyl fluoride monomer into polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) polymer resins, and extruded into Tedlar film. DuPont plans to increase monomer and polymer resin capacity by more than 50%. Construction has begun for new monomer and resin facilities at the DuPont Louisville, Kentucky, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, sites, respectively. These facilities are scheduled to start up mid-year.