Kyocera Corp., the world's fourth- largest solar-cell maker, said it plans to build a factory to produce the devices to meet demand for renewable energy.
Construction of the plant in Shiga prefecture, central Japan, will begin in February, the Kyoto, Japan-based company said today. Kyocera said it plans to start operations in “spring'' 2010.
Japanese solar-cell makers including Kyocera, Sharp Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. are boosting production capacity of solar cells as global output is forecast to increase 50 percent from now to 2010, San Francisco-based Solarbuzz LLC said in March. Q- Cells SE, the biggest maker of cells for solar panels, said yesterday it sees “no sign of a slowdown in demand.''
Kyocera said the plant's annual solar-battery cell output in the year ending March 2012 will be capable of generating 650 megawatts of power at any one time.
The company in September said it will invest 55 billion yen ($566 million) to more than double production of solar-battery cells to the equivalent of 650 megawatts by the end of March 2012 from 300 megawatts targeted this fiscal year.
The Nikkei newspaper reported in its evening edition that Kyocera will spend about 40 billion yen to build the plant. Haruhiko Kitagawa, a spokesman at Kyocera in Kyoto, said the amount of investment hasn't been decided.
Kyocera rose 1.8 percent to close at 5,110 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 2.7 percent.