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Posted: Jul 13, 2011
Mitsubishi Chemical to Make Solar Cell Film
(Nanowerk News) Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp will start making adhesive film used in solar cells, challenging Bridgestone Corp and Mitsui Chemicals Inc , who make the key material that determines the life span of the cells, the Nikkei business daily said.
Mitsubishi will spend about 10 billion yen ($123 million)through 2015 to grab 30 percent of the global market for the film, and will launch a large plant in China by the end of 2012, the daily reported.
Group firm Mitsubishi Plastics Inc recently installed adhesive film manufacturing equipment at its plant in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, which can turn out 3,000 tons of the high-performance film annually, the Nikkei said.
Total production capacity, including other locations, will be raised to 5,000-6,000 tons by year-end, for sale to solar cell manufacturers mostly in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the daily said. Mitsubishi Plastics will build the Chinese plant -- capable of making 20,000 tons of the film a year – in either Shanghai or Jiangsu Province, with construction set to start at the end of the year, Nikkei said.
By 2015, annual capacity at the Chinese plant will be raised to 60,000 tons, Nikkei said. Mitsubishi' product will challenge Bridgestone and Mitsui, which make EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) film. Mitsubishi's adhesive film is 10 times more water resistant than EVA film, but may sell at the same price, Nikkei said.
The company intends to boost sales at its photovoltaic-related business to 50 billion yen ($615.4 million)in fiscal 2015, a tenfold increase from fiscal 2010, Nikkei reported.