Think Global, Act Local – Arkema Chemical
An Interview @REI 2016
Arkema is a specialty chemicals global major, headquartered at France. They have three business segments – High performance materials, Industry specialties and coating solutions and they are world no.1 in 90% of their product portfolio. The group operates in over 50 countries and reports an annual sales of 7.7 billion euros.
Now, you might be wondering – how is this related to Renewable Energy India Expo.
Arkema manufactures what is called PVDF (Poly VinelyDine Flouride) film and EVA Encapsulants (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate copolymers) – that are used in the manufacturing of backsheets that goes into every solar panel.
Although present since 1965, the present Arkema group was created in 2004, following the reorganization of Total’s Chemicals branch. The manufacturing of PVDF by Arkema was actually started off for paints and coating applications. Later on, the durability of this material proved to be an important ingredient for solar panel manufacturing.
Arkema supplies to almost all the back sheet and EVA manufacturers in India and hence made its strong presence felt at the REI 2016, too.
Solar Mango team was able to catch up with Mr.Sachin Upadhye, Marketing Manager of Arkema India for a brief interview during the recent REI Expo 2016, held at Noida. A quick snapshot of the interview is given below:
Interview with Arkema
What are the key products and solutions Arkema provides to the Indian solar sector?
Arkema provides PVDF film under the brand name Kynar and also encapsulation products – Evatane and Luperox – used in any solar PV module manufacturing. We also make peroxide catalyst that is used in the EVA encapsulation.
We are world leaders in our PV brands. One out of every three solar panels in the world contains an Arkema product!
Which are the key end user segments for your products and solutions?
Our key customers are solar PV backsheet manufacturers and EVA encapsulant manufacturers.
What are the highlights and USPs of your products and solutions?
Durability is the USP of our solar PV brands. Our Kynar PVDF film provides outstanding protection for over 25 years. These films at the backside of the panels protects against humidity and solar aging.
Our product Luperox Solar is specially designed for speeding up EVA cross linking used for the encapsulation of cells, thereby optimizing the production rate of solar panels.
Any future products and solutions you are coming up with for the Indian market?
Arkema fosters innovation in its culture. Hence, we are always looking for innovative solutions and effective improvisations. Likewise, now we are trying to improvise our core products according to India geographic and climatic conditions.
What are the key learnings you have had from the Indian solar energy sector so far?
Indian Solar sector is growing very fast. One needs to be innovative and ready to change swiftly to cater to this dynamic market.
What, according to you, are the key challenges faced by the Indian Solar market?
In the race to competitive pricing, quality-consciousness is rapidly going down. This is not good for an upcoming market like India. People need to be educated for high quality and as a result – high yielding solar power plants.