Citing increased raw material costs, PV module encapsulant supplier Solutia said that its Saflex polyvinyl butyral (PVB) product portfolio will be subject to a 5% price increase, effective July 1. Prices for currently contracted business will be adjusted as individual contracts allow, according to the company.
“The key raw material feedstocks used to make Saflex interlayer, ethylene and propylene, are trading at or above historical highs, despite the fact that oil is well below its 2008 peak,” stated Eric Nichols, president/GM of Solutia's advanced interlayers division. “Rising costs are most pronounced in the propylene markets, where the shift to lighter feedstocks is affecting supply, in addition to increased demand.”
According to Rick Calk, VP of commercial operations for the division, the price increase is necessary due to the unprecedented increase in raw material pricing seen in the first half of 2011. “As a leading supplier of PVB interlayers and EVA encapsulants, we are fully committed to meeting the current and future needs of our customers. We have recently made several significant investments to ensure long-term cost competitiveness and the stable supply of quality, high-performance interlayer products around the world, and we will continue to do so in the future.”
Solutia manufactures Saflex PVB interlayers in Ghent, Belgium; Santo Toribio, Mexico; San Jose Dos Campos, Brazil; Springfield, MA; and Suzhou, China. It operates a PVB finishing center, distribution center, and regional customer service center in Singapore. The company also produces ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) for solar applications in Dietenheim, Germany, and Suzhou.