Dow Corning to Expand Its Solar Business in Korea with New Applications Center

Dow Corning Corp. has selected JinCheon, Korea as the site for further expansion of its solar business with the development of a second Solar Solutions Application Center. The facility will enable engineers and scientists to work with customers to develop, evaluate, and pilot materials solutions used to manufacture solar panels. It will include material development and characterization laboratories, an industrial-scale pilot line for photovoltaic module assembly, and environmental aging and testing capabilities.

“Dow Corning is committed to collaborating with customers to help the solar industry move towards being economically competitive with conventional energy sources, and become a sustainable energy option globally,” said Eric Peeters, global executive director,

Dow Corning Solar Business. “With almost 60 percent of solar module producers based in Asia,[1] this center will play an important role in the global solar industry growth as well as manufacturing growth in Asia."

The Korea facility will be the second Dow Corning Solar Solutions Application Center; the first opened in May 2008 in Freeland, Michigan, USA.

“For us to be able to build stronger relationships, incubate new material solutions and bring them to market fast, we have to be close to our Asian customers” said Martin YS Lee, Asia Business Development Manager, Dow Corning Solar Business. “This center represents our intention to be an active, eager partner with researchers, producers and governments in Asia as we help develop affordable and efficient solar energy.”

The laboratory of the Solar Solutions Application Center Korea is scheduled to open in late 2009 and pilot production equipment could come online by early 2010.

One of the only companies in the world able to provide silicon-based solutions throughout the entire photovoltaic value chain, Dow Corning is investing to expand its portfolio of total solution packages for solar cell manufacturing, module assembly and installation. Solution packages are built on high-performance silicone products such as encapsulants, adhesives, coatings, potting agents and sealants, as well as next-generation solar grade silicon.

The Dow Corning Solar Solutions Application Center Korea is the latest in a series of solar-related investments by Dow Corning.

  • In December 2008, Dow Corning announced several billion dollars of investment to provide critical materials to the fast-growing solar technology industry through Hemlock Semiconductor.
  • In September 2008, Dow Corning introduced a manufacturing process featuring new developmental silicone materials - Dow Corning® PV-6100 Encapsulant series - that significantly increases the production rate of solar panels, effectively lowering the cost per watt of solar power.
  • In June 2008, Hemlock Semiconductor announced expansion at its newest polysilicon facility located at the company’s Hemlock site. That expansion was part of a $500 million phased investment announced in 2005 and 2006.
  • In May 2008, Dow Corning opened its Solar Solutions Application Center in Freeland, Michigan (U.S.), to enable collaboration with customers to develop, evaluate and pilot materials solutions used to manufacture solar panels. The $3 million, 27,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility represents Dow Corning’s intention to be an active, eager partner with researchers, producers and governments as we help develop affordable and efficient solar energy for the global energy market.
  • In 2007, Dow Corning’s joint venture, Hemlock Semiconductor announced the largest expansion in the history of the polycrystalline silicon industry - $1 billion over the next four years to increase its polycrystalline silicon capacity.
  • In 2006, Dow Corning introduced Dow Corning® PV-1101 SoG Silicon - the first commercially available metallurgical feedstock produced using large-scale manufacturing processes - which can be blended with polysilicon to offer options to solar industry innovators.

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