News Column

Panasonic to Close European Solar Cell Plant

July 5, 2013
solar cell

Panasonic Corp plans to shut its solar cell factory in Hungary in March 2014 and dismiss about 500 workers as part of restructuring efforts, a news report said Friday.

The financially strapped electronics maker will end output at its only European solar cell plant in September and assemble finished products using key components shipped in from Japan and elsewhere, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The closure would leave Panasonic with two similar plants in western Japan and another in Malaysia.

The European solar cell market has been shrinking, partly because of cuts in government subsidies, while the Japanese market has enjoyed growth, thanks in part to the country's feed-in tariff programme for promoting the use of renewable energy, Nikkei reported.

These factors, along with the depreciation of the yen, caused Panasonic to shift production from Europe to Japan, the paper said.

Panasonic aims to sell some 675,000 kilowatts of solar cells globally in the current financial year through March 2014, up 25 per cent from the previous year.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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