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Owens Corning recently announced that it is supporting its wind blade fabrication customers in Asia by expanding its capacity for the production of technical fabrics at its manufacturing facilities in Chanzhou and Doudian, China, and Taloja, India. The investment will add about one-third more knitting capacity to the three plants’ existing fabrics operations in order to supply technical fabrics for the region’s growing wind energy market. The expansion is underway and will be completed during the third quarter this year.
“During the past 20 years, Owens Corning has been leading the way with roving and fabrics preferred by the world’s largest wind blade manufacturers,” said Sunil Saxena, general manager and managing director for OCV™ Technical Fabrics, Asia Pacific region. “The expansions of fabric capacity in China and India will enable us to supply more of our customers’ growing requirements locally.”
Composites Group President Chuck Dana said the expansion is another demonstration of the company’s commitment to wind energy. “Renewable wind energy is needed to assure a sustainable future,” he said. “Composites have many benefits in wind energy applications, and Owens Corning has developed a number of products specifically customized and designed for increased productivity and improved laminate performance in a blade. This work is continuing to help make wind energy more competitive with traditional sources of electrical power.”
The capacity for wind energy in Asia is expected to grow nearly 45% this year, from a total installed capacity of about 22,000 megawatts (MW) at the end of 2008 to nearly 32,000 MW at the end of this year, according to BTM Consult ApS, Denmark, an independent consulting company specializing in renewable energy. BTM says growth in Asia will be led by China, which is expected to increase installed capacity by 60% in 2009.
Additional information is available at www.owenscorning.com.