Per DuPont press release:
DuPont (NYSE: DD) announced that it will soon begin construction on a research center in Hong Kong and a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen to support the rapidly growing photovoltaic (PV) solar energy industry. . . .
DuPont expects growth in the photovoltaic market to exceed 30 percent in each of the next several years. The company has made significant investments in product development and capacity expansions to help keep pace with the demand.
Accelerating its capability to meet emerging materials requirements is critical for DuPont, which has long been a leading supplier of materials primarily serving the crystalline silicon (c-Si) cell and module markets. The expansions in Hong Kong and Shenzhen will provide new offerings to serve the amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film market.
Thin film technology is well-suited for large-scale utility applications such as "solar farms" and industrial installations. The growth rate for thin film is projected to be approximately twice as high as demand for c-Si, and DuPont expects this increase to drive specifications for both new and existing products that serve the thin film industry.
This announcement is important because it shows that Dupont recognizes that the PV market is significant and growing. It can bring its manufacturing expertise to produce low cost products for the fastest growing segment of the solar PV market. Locating the manufacturing facility in Shenzhen takes on the Chinese manufacturers on their home turf.