Speciality Films Dow Builds New Production Sites for Speciality Films

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Chemical giant Dow plans to triple its production capacity of speciality films with two new production sites in Thailand and Germany.

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(Picture: Dow)
(Picture: Dow)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/USA – Dow increases its production capacity of polyolefin encapsulant films by opening two new production lines in Thailand and Germany. With this expansion, Dow plans to triple its production of speciality films, that are used for example in photovoltaic modules.

Paul Curtin, Associate Technology Director for Specialty Films, says the new plants, located in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, and Schkopau, Germany, will be based on technology used at the initial site in Findlay, Ohio, which began production in December 2010. Ralf Brinkmann, President of Dow in Germany, expects the Schkopau site to become one of Dow's most important production facilities in Europe. “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 Dow's 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,” says Jirasak Singmaneechai, Thailand Country Manager. He also indicated that 30-35 positions will be added, to what will become Dow’s largest manufacturing facility in the Asia-Pacific region, with excellent access to a seaport.

Speciality films are regarded as a growth market by industry experts. “Converting solar energy into an efficient source of electricity is an area of expertise Dow will continue to develop,” says Brij Sinha, Global Market Manager for Photovoltaics, Performance Plastics. “Demand for photovoltaic modules has been growing at about 30 percent per year, and is expected to continue at this rate for the next several years.” A report by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Bloomberg New Energy, and the Frankfurt School for Climate and Sustainable Energy Finance attested investments in renewable energies a remarkable growth - up nearly a third to US$211 billion globally in 2010.