Updated: NSG Announces New U.S. Float Plant for Solar Market
Officials from NSG Group announced May 11 that the company will invest nearly $350 million to expand production capacity of transparent conductive oxide coated glass for the solar market. The investment will fund the construction of a new float glass production facility in the United States, and the upgrade and restart of a currently dormant float line in Vietnam, to take place in the next three years.
The company has not yet finalized the location of the new plant in the United States, according to Richard Altman, regional director, Architectural Glass North America. “The company is evaluating a number of sites, and we expect to make a decision in the next month or two,” he says.
The plant in Vietnam, located south of Ho Chi Minh City in Vung Tau Province, is expected to be operational in the middle of 2019, Altman says. According to a May 11 report from Nikkei Asian Review, the facility was originally used for producing liquid crystal displays and was shuttered in 2016.
NSG’s expanded global production capacity for TCO glass is expected to accelerate a shift in the company’s product portfolio towards value-added products, while supporting a long-term supply agreement with First Solar, the world’s leading provider of comprehensive photovoltaic solar systems, according to NSG officials.
Global solar demand is expected to see a double-digit increase every year in the next three years and First Solar is expanding its production capacity for Series 6, the latest thin film module system with higher efficiency and energy yield, according to NSG officials.
Manufactured with the online coating technology, in which a conductive oxide on the glass surface is formed during its passage through the float line, NSG Group’s TCO glass is durable with a wide range of applications, officials say.
NSG officials say the company’s investments in value-added products, including solar glass, are intended to drive its growth strategy while supporting the increased use of renewable energy.