The Dow Chemical Company
) has commenced producing the ENLIGHT polyolefin encapsulant films
at its Map Ta Phut manufacturing facility in Thailand. These novel
encapsulant films have been designed for use in photovoltaic solar
panels. Photovoltaics is the conversion of sunlight into
The Michigan-based company sees strong market demand for these
films and stated that this new production capacity will help it
address the needs of this rapidly growing sector. Demand for
photovoltaic modules has been forecast to grow 20% annually over
the next several years. The state-of-the-art Map Ta Phut facility
will enable the company to immediately double its global production
The facility, which has been constructed with latest energy
efficiency techniques, will help the company boost its foothold in
Thailand, which houses its largest manufacturing operations in
Asia-Pacific. Dow, in May 2012, said that it is building a new
production facility for making ENLIGHT encapsulant films in
Schkopau, Germany. This new facility, which is expected to come
online in late 2012, will also provide additional capacity.
Dow offers several commercial grades of ENLIGHT Films that helps
customers meet their specific needs. These films offers better
module stability and increased electrical performance vis-à-vis
conventional encapsulants such as ethylene-vinyl acetate
Unlike traditional films, ENLIGHT increases long-term efficiency
of photovoltaic panels, help improve service life, retain module
reliability and allows the industry to rein in overall system
costs. Modules made with ENLIGHT have shown to maintain efficiency
levels even after more than 10,000 hours of damp heat exposure
compared with 2,000 hours for EVA-based materials. The ENLIGHT
films enables panel manufacturers to potentially increase yield and
capacity by reducing production time by up to 30%.
Dow continues to develop technologies that exploit the power of
the sun and helps in converting solar energy into an efficient
source of electricity. In addition to ENLIGHT, the company's other
notable offering include the DOW POWERHOUSE solar shingle roof
Dow recently posted tepid second-quarter 2012 results. The
company earned 55 cents a share in the quarter which largely missed
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 64 cents. Profit skid a roughly 34%
year over year, hammered by the beleaguered economic conditions in
Europe and weak demand.
Revenues slid 10% year over year to $14,513 million, also
falling behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $15,961 million.
Sales declined across all segments except Agricultural Sciences
which achieved double-digit growth in the quarter.
Dow is benefiting from strong fundamentals in agriculture and
food markets. However, weakness in the electronics and construction
end-markets may linger moving ahead. Moreover, the company will
continue facing challenges in Western Europe due to weak demand and
the sovereign debt crisis.
Dow, which competes with
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
), currently holds a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).
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