Chinaplas preview: China's solar policy drives performance resin opportunities


Domestic demand elevated China to the third biggest solar module market globally in 2011 and China's 12th Five-Year Plan targets increasing photovoltaic (PV) installations further to 10-15 GW by 2015, and 50 GW by 2020.

These targets are ambitious given China installed "only" 2.75 GW of capacity in 2011 according to market watcher NPD Solarbuzz (San Francisco, CA), which is expecting installations to double in 2012 to around 5 GW. Whatever, the case, China has already emerged as the largest global manufacturer of solar panels, with five of the top ten PV module suppliers now based on the mainland.

It comes as no surprise, then, that global performance resin suppliers see the solar sector as a promising market in China. Solvay Specialty Polymers (Bollate, Italy), for example, is building a 120 million Euros ($157.4 million) production plant for fluorinated polymers and elastomers at the company's site in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, which will be operational by mid-2014. It will significantly boost Solvay's global production capacity and meet the growing demand for these specialty polymers in Asia for end-use markets such as PV, auto, Li-ion batteries, and oil & gas applications....
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