DuPont Completes US $295M Solar Expansion

DuPont announced an investment of US $175 million to complete the multi-phase expansion of its Tedlar PV2001 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 a component of photovoltaic backsheets, which help to provide long-term durability and performance for photovoltaic modules.

The film line expansion will be located at the DuPont Circleville, Ohio, facility using existing and retrofitted assets.  This expansion means that DuPont will have the capacity to help support more of the 10 gigawatts (GW) of global demand for solar modules. 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 Miller, president of 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 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, Kentucky, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, sites, respectively, and the facilities are scheduled to start up in mid-2010.  

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.

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