Monday, March 5, 2012

Panasonic Invests RM1.84bil in Solar Manufacturing

In a report by Bernama on Friday, March 2, Panasonic Corporation is investing RM1.84 billion (US$610 million) for its first fully integrated solar manufacturing base in Malaysia through Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd. A good achievement by the state of Kedah in wooing foreign investors to this Northern state of Peninsula Malaysia.

Sabah's Failed Attempt at Solar Glass Manufacturing

Back in 2010, Sun Bear Solar Ltd through it's subsidiary Sun Bear Solar Sdn Bhd announced its investment of RM5.2billion (US$1.72bil) to build the first solar glass manufacturing plant in Malaysia, to be located at Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, Sabah.

It was scheduled to start the first production in Q1 of 2012 but the company reviewed it investment position due to the power supply issue in Sabah. It was such a shame as this would have put Sabah in the front line of solar panel production.

300 MW Production Capacity at Kulim Plant
Source: Bernama, Mar 2, 2012

Located at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, the facility will undertake the integrated manufacturing of solar wafers, cells and modules with an estimated annual production capacity of 300 megawatt (MW).

Ground breaking ceremony in Kulim, Kedah. Image: ntv7 news

"At our new factory, the entire production process is integrated within a single base. We can reduce costs significantly by cutting down processes and eliminating the transportation process," Panasonic Group Vice President, Tetsuhiro Maeda said during the groundbreaking ceremony and exchange of land lease agreement here, Friday. Maeda is in charge of the solar business for Panasonic Energy Company Japan.

Also present at the ceremony was the chairman of Kulim Technology Park Corporation Sdn Bhd, Datuk Ir Amiruddin Hamzah, the president of Energy Company of Panasonic Group, Masato Ito, the Managing Director of Panasonic Asia Pacific, Yorihisa Shiokawa and Managing Director of Panasonic Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Jeff Lee.

Currently, the company's total global capacity is 600MW from its factories in Japan, Hungary and Mexico. Construction of the new facility in Kulim will commence immediately with operations starting by December to manufacture Panasonic Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer (HIT) solar modules.

The plant is expected to employ 1,500 people and has a total built-area of 70,000 square meters. The products manufactured in Kulim will be sold to all over the world, as well as in Japan. Maeda said for the last three year, solar panel sales had dropped but not its HIT modules.

"With increasing environment awareness globally and the introduction of subsidy systems as well as a Feed-in Tariff scheme in various countries, the solar market is predicted to grow further," he added. Due to this, Maeda said robust demand is expected particularly in the residential sector, the main target area for HIT solar modules.


sahromnasrudin said...

info yg bagus...

thanks a lot

tehr said...

Sumber tenaga yg tak pandai habis ni
Kalau la dapat pasang kat rumah memang best ni

de engineur said...

@tehr. Kerajaan, melalui Energy (RE) Act 2010 ada menyediakan geran utk individu2 membuat pemasangan Solar PV di rumah kediaman.

Akta ni baru dikuatkuasakan tahun lepas.