DuPont announced an investment of $175 million to complete themulti-phase expansion of its high-performance DuPont Tedlar PV2001series oriented film production line.
This investment is in addition to$120 million in capacity expansions, announced in August 2009, for rawmaterials used to make the film, bringing the total commitment of thesetwo phases to $295 million. Tedlar films serve as the criticalcomponent of photovoltaic backsheets, providing long-term durabilityand performance for photovoltaic modules in all-weather conditions.
Thefilm line expansion will be located at the DuPont Circleville, Ohio,facility using existing and retrofitted assets. This expansion providesTedlar oriented film capacity to support global demand of over 10gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic module production. The investment willdeliver DuPont technology to help meet increasing needs for energy andenvironmental sustainability.
This reflects the company’srecently announced commitment to focus on meeting four emerging globaltrends, one of which is decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. Filmproduction is scheduled to start up in September 2011.
“Thephotovoltaic market increasingly demands materials that enable modulesto reliably deliver power for decades,” said David B. Miller, president– DuPont Electronics & Communications. “This major expansionunderscores our commitment to maintaining DuPont leadership in thephotovoltaic industry and specifically in the backsheet materialsmarket for solar panels.”
The manufacturing steps for Tedlaroriented film include producing vinyl fluoride (VF) monomer, which isconverted into polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) polymer resins, and extrudedinto the Tedlar film. DuPont plans to increase monomer and polymerresin capacity by more than 50 percent.
Construction is underway for these new monomer and resin facilities at the DuPontLouisville, Ky., and Fayetteville, N.C., sites, respectively, and thefacilities are scheduled to start up in mid-2010.
DuPontanticipates that the photovoltaic market will grow rapidly over thenext several years, and this growth will drive the demand for Tedlarand other new materials that increase the lifetime and efficiency ofsolar cells and modules. DuPont expects that overall sales of itsfamily of products into the photovoltaic industry will exceed $1billion by 2012.
DuPont Tedlar PVF films have been an essentialcomponent of photovoltaic backsheets for more than 25 years. Tedlar iswidely recognized as the industry standard due to its excellentstrength, weather resistance, ultraviolet resistance and moisturebarrier properties.
As a result, Tedlar enables solar modules toachieve long-life performance providing a long-term sustainable energysource for the marketplace. This results in improved economic returnsfor investments in solar energy projects and therefore a lower cost ofsolar electricity to consumers. Tedlar films also are used in keyapplications for aerospace, construction and graphics arts because oftheir durability and weatherability.
DuPont Tedlar PVF filmsare part of the broad and growing portfolio of products from DuPontPhotovoltaic Solutions, which applies DuPont science and technology tosupport the dramatic growth of the photovoltaic industry globally.