Dow Chemical is adding production capacity for its Enlight polyolefin encapsulant films for crystalline-silicon and thin-film solar PV modules, with plans to build two new manufacturing plants in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, and Schkopau, Germany in 2012. The company said that the new factory designs will be based on technology used at the initial manufacturing site in Findlay, OH, which began production in December 2010.
“The Schkopau facility will become part of one of Dow’s most important sites in Europe,” stated Ralf Brinkmann, president of Dow in Germany. “Schkopau also happens to be nestled in the heart of Germany’s ‘solar valley.’” Brinkmann explains that this area is already home to more than a dozen companies that make photovoltaic modules and their components.
He estimates that approximately 30-40 new positions will be needed at the site once the plant for Enlight films is up and running.
“The Map Ta Phut operation will be built with the latest energy efficiency techniques and supports our strategy to further enhance and expand our presence in Thailand,” added Jirasak Singmaneechai, Thailand country manager, who also indicated that 30-35 positions will be added.
He also noted that the Thailand site is Dow’s largest manufacturing facility in the Asia-Pacific region, with excellent access to a seaport.
The expected capital expenditures and ultimate manufacturing capacities of the Thai and German facilities were not disclosed.