DuPont completes $295 million expansion for photovoltaic market
DuPont announced an investment of $175 million to complete the multi-phase expansion of its high-performance DuPont™ Tedlar® PV2001 series oriented film production line. This investment is in addition to $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 $295 million. Tedlar® films serve as the critical component of photovoltaic backsheets, providing long-term durability and performance for photovoltaic modules in all-weather conditions.
The film line expansion will be located at the DuPont Circleville, Ohio, facility using existing and retrofitted assets. This expansion provides Tedlar® oriented film capacity to support global demand of over 10 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic module production. The investment will deliver 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 David B. Miller, president – DuPont Electronics & Communications. “This major expansion underscores our commitment to maintaining DuPont leadership in the photovoltaic industry and specifically in the backsheet materials market for solar panels.”
The manufacturing steps for Tedlar® oriented film include producing vinyl fluoride (VF) monomer, which is converted into polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) polymer resins, and extruded into the Tedlar® film. DuPont plans to increase monomer and polymer resin capacity by more than 50 percent. Construction is under way for these new monomer and resin facilities at the DuPont Louisville, Ky., and Fayetteville, N.C., sites, respectively, and the facilities are scheduled to start up in mid-2010.
“Today, the photovoltaic industry in the Middle East is experiencing rapid growth. The region is aggressively pursuing diversification into renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint. DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions is committed to address local needs, to continuously innovate and to provide innovative advanced materials for improving solar cell efficiency and module lifetimes. Through science and technology, DuPont is making the use of sustainable energy a viable solution,” said Hartmut Reinke, Director, DuPont Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
DuPont anticipates that the photovoltaic market will grow rapidly over the next several years, and this growth will drive the demand for Tedlar® and other new materials that increase the lifetime and efficiency of solar cells and modules. DuPont expects that overall sales of its family of products into the photovoltaic industry will exceed $1 billion by 2012.
DuPont™ Tedlar® PVF films have been an essential component of photovoltaic backsheets for more than 25 years. Tedlar® is widely recognized as the industry standard due to its excellent strength, weather resistance, ultraviolet resistance and moisture barrier properties. As a result, Tedlar® enables solar modules to achieve long-life performance providing a long-term sustainable energy source for the marketplace. This results in improved economic returns for investments in solar energy projects and therefore a lower cost of solar electricity to consumers. Tedlar® films also are used in key applications for aerospace, construction and graphics arts because of their durability and weatherability.
DuPont™ Tedlar® PVF films are part of the broad and growing portfolio of products from DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, which applies DuPont science and technology to support the dramatic growth of the photovoltaic industry globally. To learn more about DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, visit http://photovoltaics.dupont.com.
DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 20 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.