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DuPont to double production of solar panel film

Chemical company DuPont is doubling its production capacity for plastic film used to make solar panels in a $295 million program.

The company said yesterday it has started producing the raw materials for its Tedlar polyvinyl film at a new line in its Fayetteville Works facility in North Carolina. The films are used as backsheets for solar panels, offering long-term durability in all-weather conditions. Dupont said it is also planning to start up additional film production capacity at Circleville, Ohio, in September 2011.

David B. Miller, president of DuPont Electronics & Communications, said his company was responding to “overwhelming demand” for solar panel backsheet material.

Mr Miller said: “Tedlar enables solar panels to deliver reliable power output for 25 plus years. This capacity expansion will allow us to help our customers supply the highest quality solar modules as the market continues to grow.”

DuPont, which has its HQ in Wilmington, Delaware, is predicting that the solar panel market will grow “rapidly” over the next several years, with forecasts that its own sales in the photovoltaic sector would exceed $1 billion in 2011 and $2 billion by 2014.

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