3M Adds Solar Products Mfg. Plant in China

The company intends to build a new plant in Hefei, China, where it will produce products for the solar energy market.

3M Company plans to break ground on its ninth manufacturing facility in China during the second quarter of this year.

Maplewood-based 3M on Wednesday announced plans to build a new plant in Hefei, China. The facility will produce photovoltaic solar materials and renewable energy products.

“3M is committed to providing innovative renewable energy solutions to support our customers globally,” Mike Roman, vice president and general manager for 3M's renewable energy division, said in a statement. “The state-of-the-art Hefei facility increases our production capacity of 3M's solar materials portfolio at a location that is close to local customers and at a time when renewable energy is setting a precedent for the future.”

Specifically, the new facility will be constructed in the Hefei High-tech Industrial Development Area-an energy development area designated by China's government.

3M has maintained a presence in China since 1984, and its operations in the country include manufacturing plants, business offices, and research and development facilities.

The company's renewable energy division develops solutions for the solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels energy industries. Its products include window films designed to conserve energy in commercial, residential, and automotive settings.

3M is Minnesota's fifth-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $26.7 billion in 2010.