DuPont closing solar film subsidiary in China

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 22, 2014 12:34 pm ET
Updated: May 23, 2014 6:24 am ET

Image By: DuPont Co. DuPont set up its DuPont Apollo Ltd. subsidiary in Hong Kong in 2008, but a tough market is prompting it to shut down the group by the end of the year.

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Materials, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations DuPont Co.

DuPont Co. is closing a Chinese subsidiary manufacturing photovoltaic film solar energy modules, but the company says it remains committed more broadly to supplying materials to the solar market.

The Wilmington, Del.-based company said it will shut down its Hong Kong-based DuPont Apollo Ltd. subsidiary, which makes amorphous silicon thin film modules using ethylene vinyl acetate polymer as encapsulate and glass materials, in the face of tough market conditions. The shutdown will come by the end of the year.

The unit has a manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and a research lab in the Hong Kong Science Park.

"This decision was taken consistent with the company's discipline of continually reviewing its portfolio and focusing on high-growth, high-margin opportunities," Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont said in a statement.

DuPont set up the unit in 2008, and executives told Plastics News at the time that one of Apollo's targets was tapping into an expected increase in photovoltaic solar cell use in China.

But the investment fell victim to market overcapacity and a move by the industry to other technologies.

"Technology shifts and intense price pressures have created an extremely challenging climate for amorphous thin film solar module manufacturers," DuPont said in an email to Plastics News.

"The amorphous silicon thin film segment of the photovoltaic market has changed dramatically in recent years," DuPont said. "Market conditions for this segment continue to deteriorate."

-->

Image By: DuPont Co. Despite closing its solar film subsidiary this year, DuPont said it remains committed to the broader solar energy industry.

DuPont said the unit's 70 employees in Hong Kong and 150 in Shenzhen are being offered separation benefits or other jobs in the company.

In its statement, DuPont said that independent of the Apollo decision, the company would remain a leading supplier of a range of other materials to the broader solar power industry. It said installations in the solar energy market are estimated to grow 20 percent a year over the next several years.

The company's products in solar energy include polyvinyl fluoride and polyimine films, specialized PET resins and EVA materials.

According to a 2009 DuPont announcement, the 538,000 square foot Shenzhen factory had a capacity to manufacture modules generating 50 megawatts of power a year. It said at the time the technology would be more cost effective and would use 1/200th the silicon used by crystalline silicon solar cells.


Comments

DuPont closing solar film subsidiary in China

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 22, 2014 12:34 pm ET
Updated: May 23, 2014 6:24 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Proposed green building standard delayed until late 2016

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

Anyone not ready for a new green building standard — one that may include more favorable ratings for plastics — is getting something of a ...    More

Image

Group backs plastic window alternatives

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

A new industry working group is figuring out how to help plastic break through the glass ceiling.    More

RheTech to commercialize hemp fibers to replace glass in PP

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

RheTech Inc. plan to commercialize its first hemp fiber compounds in January.    More

Image

Market growing, but compounders say customers remain 'cautious'

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

Everywhere they've looked, North American compounders and concentrate makers have seen numbers on the rise in 2014.    More

Image

Americhem beats weather woes at start of 2014 for good fiscal year

November 26, 2014 9:45 am ET

Gains from the automotive and construction markets provided a strong fiscal 2014 for Americhem Inc.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events