$70m expansion for BP Solar

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BP Solar has unveiled its plans for a $70m expansion project at its North American headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. The expansion will result in nearly doubling the facility's current casting and sizing capacity to approximately 150 MW. The company projects that 70 new jobs will be created. Other plans include an upgrade of the interior of the facility by employing sustainable design components.

Initial engineering feasibility studies into the project have already been completed and the company will now carry out detailed front-end engineering design work. This expansion will make BP Solar's Frederick facility the largest fully integrated plant in North America.

‘This is a significant investment in a world-class and well-established business,’ said Bob Malone, chairman and president of BP America. ‘This expansion will keep us in command of a growing industry by meeting future demand and providing innovative products to the market.’

The expansion plans call for the construction of 140,000 square feet of new building space allowing the company to nearly double its casting, sizing, and wafering manufacturing capacity. Plans also include the relocation and integration of local warehousing and shipping facilities to the current site.

Construction is slated to begin in the first half of 2007 and finish by the end of 2008 pending approval of local permits.

Lee Edwards, BP Solar CEO added, ‘In addition to expanding our manufacturing capacity, our plans are to upgrade the interior of the existing facilities and to use sustainable building techniques such as a roof garden, bio-retention, extensive water recycling and the utilization of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) design components such as energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling.’