November 25, 2011

Panasonic invest RM1.8 billion in solar venture

Solar Panels

Panasonic Corp plans to invest 45 billion yen (about RM1.8 billion) to build a solar cell factory in Malaysia.

The Osaka-based electronics giant will set up Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd next month to handle the venture at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah. Production is expected to kick off in December 2012, Panasonic said in a statement posted on its website yesterday.

It is learnt that on top of the 45 billion yen, Panasonic is also setting aside 22.5 billion yen (about RM1 billion) as capital for Panasonic Energy.

The plant will have a production capacity of 300 megawatt and employ some 1,500 people. It will have a built-up area of about 70,000 square metres.

Panasonic said the solar cell market is expected to grow further with environmental awareness increasing globally and the introduction of subsidy systems and Feed-in Tariff schemes in Japan.

“Robust demand is expected particularly in the residential sector, the main target of the Panasonic HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer) solar modules.

“The new factory, to be built in the Kulim Hi Tech Park, will not only help Panasonic meet this the growing demand, but also strengthen the HIT module’s cost competitiveness with the vertically-integrated production,” the company said.

Panasonic will sell its solar modules as an individual product as well as part of a system combined with storage batteries. Panasonic is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs.

The company, which has several subsidiaries in Malaysia, recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (RM335 billion) as of March 31 2011.

The company’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York stock exchanges. -Business Times

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