STR Holdings has commenced the work on Phase II of its expansion plan at its solar encapsulant facility in Johor, Malaysia.

Phase II will double the size of the company’s existing production and warehouse space in Malaysia, providing floor space for total capacity of up to 4GW, the company said. It is scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Dennis Jilot, chairman, president and CEO of STR Holdings, said: “Commencement of Phase II of our expansion plans in Malaysia is a direct response to the growing global demand for STR’s solar encapsulants, especially from our Asia-based customers, and is a further step in the execution of our well-defined ‘One Plus China’ growth strategy.

“Located in one of the best shipping lanes in the world, Malaysia is an ideal regional hub, allowing us to provide customers with reduced shipping costs, quicker lead times and a dependable supply chain while also expanding STR’s raw material sourcing options.”

The company expects to complete its Phase I expansion by the end of the second quarter of 2010, within the facility’s existing footprint. Capacity at the Malaysia facility is currently being increased from 1GW to 2GW. Upon completion, STR Solar will have overall global manufacturing capacity of 6.35GW strategically located on three continents.