Analysis of the whole industry chain of EVA/POE

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Foreword

In recent years, with the rapid development of the photovoltaic industry, the demand for raw materials of photovoltaic film particles (EVA/POE) has increased rapidly. The demand for china plastic extrusion machines is also increasing. According to statistics, almost all of the global film production capacity is concentrated in China. At the same time, EVA and POE are the core packaging materials, and China is still highly dependent on imports. In 2021, my country's EVA import dependence will still exceed 50%, and overseas manufacturers will monopolize POE. Imports, the rapid expansion of downstream demand, and the low domestic production rate have brought broad market space for the development of EVA and POE materials.
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Photovoltaic film types and comparison

China's photovoltaic industry started early, has a high degree of development, and has a high production capacity in many links of the industry chain. It has become the promoter and leader of the development of the global photovoltaic industry, especially the photovoltaic film industry. After the industry reshuffle, foreign enterprises have withdrawn from the market. According to Foster's annual data, about 90% of enterprises' production cost of photovoltaic film is the cost of direct raw materials.

EVA/POE, the raw material of the china plastic extrusion machine, is also the core raw material of the photovoltaic film, and the degree of localization is low. As of 2021, China's EVA production capacity will total 1.772 million tons, accounting for 27% of the world's total; while POE/POP global production capacity exceeds 1 million tons due to the polymerization process, metallocene catalysts, a-olefins, and other links There are highly technical barriers, POE production capacity is mainly concentrated in the hands of Dow, Mitsui, LG, and other companies, China has not yet realized the large-scale industrial application of POE.

There are four main types of photovoltaic films in the china plastic extrusion machine market: transparent EVA film, white EVA film, POE film, and co-extruded EPE film. Transparent EVA film has become the mainstream packaging material in the current market due to its price advantage and processing performance advantages, accounting for about 52%; white film EVA is a certain amount of titanium dioxide and other white fillers added to the EVA resin to improve the secondary light. The reflectivity is mainly used for the back packaging of single-glass and double-glass modules. When white EVA is used instead of transparent EVA, the power gain of double-glass modules can reach 7-10W, and the power gain of single-glass modules is 1-3W.

China plastic extrusion machine, POE film is the mainstream packaging raw material for double-glass modules due to its unique anti-PID performance, high resistivity, and not ease to hydrolyze; the co-extrusion process makes EPE film of EVA and POE resin extrusion; it has both the excellent processing performance of EVA and the good anti-PID performance and water vapor resistance of POE. According to CPIA's forecast, the market share of transparent EVA and white EVA film will decline in the next few years, and the market share of EPE film will increase significantly. The demand for china plastic extrusion machines will also increase substantially.

Current Situation and Prospect of EVA Market

EVA is in the middle and lower reaches of the chemical industry chain, and the direct raw materials are ethylene and vinyl acetate. With the rapid expansion of EVA production capacity, the demand for ethylene-based vinyl acetate has increased significantly. In contrast, ethylene-based vinyl acetate has not effectively expanded in the past five years. The contradiction between supply and demand has become increasingly prominent.

EVA of china plastic extrusion machine has four production processes: solution polymerization, emulsion polymerization, suspension polymerization, and high pressure bulk continuous polymerization. The current industrial production is a high-pressure bulk continuous polymerization method, which can be divided into a tubular or kettle method. Basel's tubular technology and ExxonMobil's autoclave technology are currently mainstream for producing photovoltaic materials. The Basel tubular method is equipped with a pulse valve, which can flush the inner wall of the reactor during the reaction process, reduce polymer adhesion, and reduce crystallinity. The formation of dots can sustainably and in high proportions, produce photovoltaic materials. The kettle method is not equipped with a pulse valve. Under the ultra-high pressure state, EVA dissolves in ethylene and VA and precipitates on the tube wall when it is cooled, resulting in sticking to the wall. The kettle method requires frequent cleaning of the reactor when producing photovoltaic materials, and the proportion of photovoltaic materials is relatively low.

China plastic extrusion machine According to the VA content, EVA can be divided into three categories: EVA resin (VA content of 5%-40%), EVA elastomer (VA content of 40%-70%), and EVA emulsion (VA content of 70%-95%), all of which are discussed below are EVA resins.

According to IHS statistics, in 2021, the global EVA production capacity will be 6.5 million tons, and the three regions of Northeast Asia, North America, and Western Europe will account for 88%. South Korea 1.18 million tons (accounting for 18%), Japan 640,000 tons (accounting for 10%), China Taiwan 510,000 tons (accounting for 8%)

From 2017 to 2020, the growth rate of global EVA production capacity is relatively slow. In 2021, driven by carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, the global photovoltaic industry has entered a new stage of development, and EVA has also ushered in new development opportunities. In 2021, the global new EVA production capacity reached 1.1 million tons, of which China's new production capacity is 800,000 tons and South Korea's 300,000 tons. In the next few years, the global new production capacity will still be mainly concentrated in China manufacturers. According to our estimates, from 2022 to 2024, the global new EVA production capacity is expected to reach 1.08 million tons, with an average annual growth rate of 5.3%.

The EVA production capacity of the china plastic extrusion machine is mainly distributed in the coastal and inland coal chemical bases. The EVA production capacity in East China accounts for as high as 66%, while those in North China and Northwest China account for 17% and 17%, respectively. Land accounts for 90% of the total domestic consumption, and the difference between the two places is noticeable. Due to the rapid expansion of film and cable companies in East China, the consumption of photovoltaic materials and cable materials accounts for a higher proportion. In the field of materials, the main one is the consumption of foam and hot melt adhesive.
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In recent years, with large-scale refining and coal-to-olefins development, private enterprises have poured into the EVA track one after another, and the main body of supply has been diversified. A three-pronged situation of state-owned, joint-venture, and private enterprises has been formed.

At present, only three companies in China can produce photovoltaic-grade transparent EVA. From 2021 to 2022, although many sets of devices will be put into production, there has been no effective increase in photovoltaic materials, and the current supply side is still. With Sailbond, Lianhong, Formosa Plastics, and overseas sources as the primary sources, the current devices capable of producing photovoltaic materials are all in total production, and the conversion of other devices to photovoltaic materials is complex, and the viscosity is high. Long-term production will block pipelines, and old devices will be converted into production. Photovoltaic materials need to be stopped frequently to clear the pipeline. In terms of new production capacity: Sinochem Quanzhou, Yangzi Petrochemical, and Yanchang Yulin have not produced photovoltaic materials; in 2022, the increase in photovoltaic materials will mainly be from Zhejiang Petrochemical and LG plants, Dushanzi 200,000 tons of EVA will be handed over recently, and it is expected to be commissioned at 9.30.

In the long run, China EVA still has a large number of new production capacity plans, but if it produces photovoltaic materials, it still needs a long production period: the project construction period is about three years; after production, it will take 0.5-1 year to produce LDPE first and then switch to EVA production. ; After stable production of qualified products, downstream film manufacturers need 3-6 months for trial, the entire project cycle takes about four years, and not all photovoltaic materials can be produced, the upper limit of tubular photovoltaic material yield is 80%-100 %, the upper limit of the cover method photovoltaic material is 10%-30%.

The cross-regional trade of EVA products is not active and is mainly based on intra-regional circulation. Northeast Asia is the core trade hub of the world, and there are many trade exchanges with significant regions. In 2018, the total global inter-regional trade volume was 850,000 tons. North America, Northeast Asia, and Western Europe are the net export areas of EVA, of which the United States has a net export volume of 90,000 tons, Northeast Asia has a net export volume of 88,000 tons, and Western Europe has a net export volume of 90,000 tons. Major EVA importers. Northeast Asia has active trade, and China is the world's largest importer. At present, China's EVA production capacity is insufficient, and it is heavily dependent on imports. In the past five years, the import dependence has maintained above 50%. In 2021, China's EVA imports will reach 1,116,700 tons; The three places account for 70% of China's imports.

Thanks to the rapid development of photovoltaic and other industries, China's EVA consumption has grown rapidly. In 2021, China's EVA consumption will reach 2.053 million tons, with a compound growth rate of 9.52% in the past five years. EVA is widely used, mainly in photovoltaic, textile shoe materials, electrical and other fields, downstream consumption structure: photovoltaic material 37%, foam material 28%, cable material 17%, hot melt adhesive 7%, coating 7%, agricultural film 1%. As the largest consumer downstream, photovoltaic materials are still expected to expand in the future.

According to the forecast of CPIA's global photovoltaic installed capacity, combined with the changing trend of film material share, the future demand for EVA is calculated. In the average case:

  1. From the perspective of installed capacity data, the growth rate of global photovoltaic installations will peak in 2021-2023, and then the growth rate will relatively decline.

  2. Under the average condition, the increase in demand for EVA resin will reach 240,000 tons (2021), 210,000 tons (2022), 150,000 tons (2023), and 100,000 tons (2024). In terms of photovoltaic material production capacity, photovoltaic materials will still be in short supply in 2022, and prosperity is expected to continue.

  3. With the acceleration of domestic EVA production, the self-sufficiency rate of EVA will gradually increase, but it will still maintain a high degree of import dependence.

Current Situation and Prospect of POE Market Current Situation and Prospect of POE Market

The raw material POE of china plastic extrusion machine, polyolefin elastomer is a kind of polyolefin material that is copolymerized by ethylene and propylene or other a-olefins (such as 1-butene, 1-hexene, 1-octene, etc.). . Compared with polyolefin plastics, the content of comonomers in the molecular chain is higher, and the density is lower. Polyolefin elastomers mainly include ethylene propylene copolymers and ethylene/α-olefin copolymers, wherein ethylene propylene copolymer elastomers include two kinds of ethylene propylene rubber (EPM) and ethylene propylene propylene rubber (EPDM), Ethylene/α-olefin copolymer elastomers mainly include ethylene/α-olefin random copolymer (POE) and ethylene/α-olefin block copolymer (OBC).

Due to its unique molecular structure, POE has good rheological properties, mechanical properties, anti-ultraviolet properties, good low-temperature toughness, and has good affinity with polyolefins. It is widely used in the fields of modification and film preparation.

From the perspective of terminal applications, the Chinese market is dominated by the automotive industry, with consumption accounting for 68%, polymer modification accounting for 19%, wire and cable 9%, and other fields around 4%. My country's POE relies on imports, and the consumer market still needs to be cultivated, which can replace some rubber and plastics in the future.

Foreign companies monopolize the global POE production capacity, and China has not yet achieved industrial application. The total global POE/POP production capacity exceeds 1 million tons/year, Dow Dow is the leader in the POE field, and its production capacity accounts for the highest proportion; there are more than 20 varieties of grades; the melting index is widely distributed, 1-30g/10min; Strong development ability and excellent product quality. Exxon is the first company in the world to realize the industrialized production of POE, with a production capacity of 170,000 tons per year. In addition, Mitsui, LG, SK, and other companies have also developed their catalyst systems, occupying a place in the POE market and highly concentrated POE industry.
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At present, several domestic companies have tackled POE technology. Among them, Wanhua Chemical has made the fastest progress and has completed the pilot test. It is expected that the 200,000-ton POE plant will be put into operation in 2024. In addition, Maoming Petrochemical, Sierbang, Satellite Petrochemical, and Huizhou All engineering projects have proposed to plan POE or are already in the pilot stage, and the localization process of POE is expected to speed up.

EVA and POE performance comparison

In photovoltaics, EVA and POE have their advantages and disadvantages. EVA is low in price, easy to process, resistant to storage, fast in cross-linking, and has good bonding performance with glass & backplanes; POE's advantages are mainly in good material properties and anti-PID performance. Excellent resistivity, high water vapor barrier rate, low-temperature, and yellowing resistance.

The main disadvantage of EVA is that vinyl acetate is readily hydrolyzed in light, oxygen, and humid and hot environments, producing acetic acid, which erodes the surface of the cell, the ribbon, etc., and also reacts with Na in the glass, which can generate a large amount of freely mobile. Na ions cause power attenuation; at the same time, EVA is prone to yellowing in the light and heat environment, affecting the light transmittance and causing the overall power loss of the module.

The disadvantage of POE is: that POE has a low polarity, and the polar auxiliary solvent is precipitated on the surface of the film during the film processing, resulting in a smooth surface and easy displacement; the processing difficulty is too significant, and the film lip is easy to hang; the overall price of POE particles is higher than that of EVA. Expensive. It is generally believed that in the next few years, the application ratio of POE particles in film particles will expand, mainly due to the following factors:

  1. N-type cell: the current P-type cell photoelectric conversion efficiency is close to the upper limit of 24.5%, while the upper limit of the N-type cell conversion efficiency is higher; the doped boron-oxygen complex in the silicon wafer of the P-type cell will cause the potential decay to accelerate, N-type battery doped with scale, good anti-fading performance. The PID effect of the N-type battery is more sensitive to the light-receiving surface, and the N-type module with significant PID attenuation will also cause irreversible damage after the light is restored. Therefore, choosing POE film for packaging can reduce the module's overall water vapor transmission rate and prolong the module's service time. Therefore, the promotion of N-type batteries can increase the amount of POE.

  2. Large-scale battery power: In recent years, the power of different types of battery components has been significantly improved, the heat generation has increased, and the temperature will have a more significant impact on the electrical properties of the battery, such as peak power and open-circuit voltage. The electrical performance requirements will be higher.

  3. Thinning of cover glass and increase of double-glass components: According to CPIA data, the current glass thicknesses are mainly <2.5mm, 2.8mm, and 3.2mm; among which, the market share of cover glass with thickness <2.5mm is 32%, It is expected that the proportion will increase to about 50% by 2025. The thinning of glass will increase the performance requirements of packaging materials, and POE has good mechanical strength and toughness.

EPE film can combine the advantages of EVA and POE and is a significant future development direction of the film. In addition, the excellent material properties of POE have colossal application potential in automobiles, wires, cables, machinery, shoe soles, hot melt adhesives, etc. With the acceleration of the process of Chineseization, POE will cultivate a more significant market space.

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