Panasonic Corp, a global electronics products maker, will invest 45 billion yen (about RM1.8 billion) to build a solar module plant in Malaysia.
A new subsidiary- Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd will be set up next month to undertake the new investment at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP) in Kedah.
The new plant with an annual production capacity of 300 megawatt is expected to be operational in December 2012 and will create some 1,500 jobs.
The facility which will be vertically-integrated starting from wafers to the production of solar cells and (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer) HIT modules will increase the company’s cost competitiveness.
Panasonic’s planned investment in Malaysia will help the company meet the rising demand particularly in the residential market for HIT solar modules, given the growing concern for the environment as well as and the implementation of subsidy systems and Feed-in Tariff schemes in Japan and other countries.
Panasonic’s plant in KHTP will be the second solar manufacturing facility to be built at the park after US-based First Solar, which was set up in 2007 and has to-date invested some RM2.9 billion in its six plants and employing some 3,400 people.
Meanwhile, French company, Saint-Goban Solar (SGS), which has invested RM46 million to produce glass for the soar industry is expected to commence production in KHTP this month.
Adapted from NST Business Times and StarBiz 26 Nov 2011 and Panasonic website