3M today announced - in conjunction with the Hefei High-tech Industrial Development Area—a plan to build a manufacturing site for photovoltaic solar materials and renewable energy products in Hefei High-tech Park. The new plant, 3M Materials Technologies (Hefei) Co., will produce a variety of products at the new facility, including 3M™ Scotchshield™ Film, an advanced solar backside barrier film used in crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic modules. The project will be 3M’s ninth manufacturing facility in China. Groundbreaking is set for two-phased construction in Q2 2011.
Hefei is an industrial city, situated between the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers in Central China. The 3M Materials Technology (Hefei) Co., Ltd. is a continuum of 3M’s global expansion. This investment follows recent solar material expansions in the U.S. (Columbia, Mo.), Hilden, Germany, and in Singapore.
“3M is committed to providing innovative renewable energy solutions to support our customers globally,” said Mike Roman, vice president and general manager, 3M Renewable Energy Division. “We are excited about the collaboration with Hefei High-tech Industrial Development Area to help drive this initiative. The state-of-the-art Hefei facility increases our production capacity of 3M’s solar materials portfolio at a location that is close to local customers and at a time when renewable energy is setting a precedent for the future.”
The Hefei High-tech Industrial Development Area, founded in 1991, is one of the first national new energy high-tech industrial development areas approved by China’s State Council. 3M established operations in China in 1984. It was the first foreign enterprise to be established outside of the Special Economic Zones. At present, 3M’s operations in China include manufacturing, business offices, technical service and R&D facilities.
3M’s entry in the renewable energy sector began in the 1970s with pioneering technologies in coating, film, tape, adhesive and optical technologies. 3M offers a robust portfolio of new and existing products, bringing more than 100 years of combined expertise to the rapidly expanding renewable energy and energy efficiency markets worldwide. 3M has expanded its global manufacturing capabilities for Renewable Energy Division products in recent years to bring key products to meet customers' growing needs. In 2009, 3M created a global Renewable Energy Division, a unit of its Industrial and Transportation Business. The renewable energy business develops innovative solutions for solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels energy and produces commercial, residential and automotive window films for energy conservation.