May 6, 2008 — /PRNewswire/ HONG KONG — DuPont today announced it will soon begin construction on a research center in Hong Kong and a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen to support the rapidly growing photovoltaic (PV) solar energy industry.
“Through investments in materials, technology development, and manufacturing, DuPont is accelerating its ability to deliver innovations that will improve the lifetime and efficiency of photovoltaic modules, and also have enough production capability to help keep pace with the fast rising global demand,” says David B. Miller, group vice president, DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies.
“DuPont is pleased and honored to be a part of this joint collaboration with Hong Kong and Shenzhen because we share a commitment to meet the needs for renewable energy as this region continues to grow,” says Douglas Muzyka, president, DuPont Greater China.
DuPont expects growth in the photovoltaic market to exceed 30 percent in each of the next several years. The company has made significant investments in product development and capacity expansions to help keep pace with the demand.
Accelerating its capability to meet emerging materials requirements is critical for DuPont, which has long been a leading supplier of materials primarily serving the crystalline silicon (c-Si) cell and module markets. The expansions in Hong Kong and Shenzhen will provide new offerings to serve the amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film market.
Thin-film technology is well-suited for large-scale utility applications such as “solar farms” and industrial installations. The growth rate for thin film is projected to be approximately twice as high as demand for c-Si, and DuPont expects this increase to drive specifications for both new and existing products that serve the thin-film industry. These include DuPont(TM) Butacite(R) PV sheet based on polyvinyl butyral (PVB), DuPont(TM) SentryGlas(R) PV sheet based on ionomer, and DuPont(TM) Elvax(R) ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) that are offered as encapsulation materials for thin-film modules.
Significant further investment is planned for both a-Si and c-Si markets, including further capacity expansions for DuPont(TM) Tedlar(R) film and Solamet(R) thick-film metallization paste.
“The most important factor for continued rapid market growth is achieving continuous year-over-year cost reductions in installed photovoltaic system cost, and we will continue to invest in offerings that meet the needs of this market,” Miller says.
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.