Sanyo to Boost Solar Panel Output

Will increase production capacity by 30%

Sanyo Electric Co. said on August 7 that it would boost its solar panel production capacity by 30% within the next two years to meet surging demand fueled by government subsidies.

Sanyo will invest about 4.2 billion yen (US$44 million) in a domestic plant in Shiga prefecture to double the facility's annual production capacity to 200,000 kilowatts, company spokeswoman Kumiko Makino said.

In total, Sanyo's solar panel production capacity will rise to 450,000 kilowatts. "The move is aimed at meeting rising domestic demand thanks to the government subsidies" for homeowners, she said.

Sanyo -- which is being bought by its bigger rival Panasonic Corp. -- is focusing on environmental technologies including solar energy and rechargeable batteries in an effort to return to the black.

Sanyo said last week it lost 18.4 billion yen in the three months to June due to a slump in the electronic component business.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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