Chemicals and resin producer Kaneka said last Wednesday it plans to increase its annual production of solar batteries by almost half in the first half of 2007.
Kaneka said it would spend around ¥5 billion ramping up production at its subsidiary Toyooka plant in the Hyogo prefecture, increasing its annual solar battery production capacity from 30 megawatts to 55MW.
The company said it would consider further expansion to 70MW by 2008.
The company said Europe remained the primary market for its solar battery technology, and that it would outsource to a Czech assembly plant until the upgrades are complete.
On Thursday, Mitsubishi Heavy announced it would build a new ¥10 billion factory on its Nagasaki premises, dedicated to producing a new solar cell model said to generate one and a half times as much power as its current solar offering.
The plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of 270,000 cells, or 40MW of electrical generation capacity.
The new plant will be situated near Mitsubishi’s conventional solar cell plant, which produces 100,000 units, or 10MW, of solar cells annually.
When making the announcement, Mitsubishi Heavy said it aimed to increase its annual solar cell-related sales from ¥3 billion to ¥15 billion by March 2009.