Panasonic Announces $581 Million HIT Solar Panel Factory

Panasonic Corporation has formally announced construction is about to commence on its 300MW solar panel manufacturing facility in Malaysia.
Scheduled to commence production in December next year, the $581 million plant will be a vertically integrated facility; producing wafers, solar cells and full modules.
The new factory, to be built in the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, will employ 1,500 people and focus on production of technology used in Sanyo HIT solar panels. Sanyo’s HIT product has proven popular in Australian residential rooftop solar arrays due to its small footprint and performance; particularly in hot conditions – the enemy of solar cell conversion efficiency.
Panasonic Corporation is one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world, comprised of over 680 companies. – among them is Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Panasonic completed its purchase of a  majority stake in Sanyo in 2009 and acquired 100% of the company in 2010.
Last year, President of Panasonic Corporation Fumio Ohtsubo, set a goal to make Panasonic the “no.1 green innovation company in the electronics industry”.
“For the next generation of people around the world, we want to be in the forefront of this ‘green revolution’ in making it take hold in our daily lives. I believe that it is certainly the way of putting our management philosophy into practice in today’s world.”
The company also aims to become one of the top 3 manufacturers of solar cells by 2015.
Aside from making components for the renewable energy revolution, Panasonic also has plans in place to reduce its own environmental impact; setting a goal of reducing emissions per basic unit of product weight by 46% or more compared to fiscal 2006 by 2018. The company is also shooting for the ratio of total recycled resources used in manufacturing its products to 16% or more and to achieve “Zero Waste Emission” from production activities at all sites by the same year.