Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Showa Shell To Spend Y160bn On Solar Cells

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (5002) has earmarked roughly 160 billion yen for investment in solar cells over five years starting next fiscal year, signaling a major shift to alternative energy amid weakening demand for oil products.
The firm made its intentions known through the medium-term business plan it released Tuesday. It targets an overall pretax profit of 100 billion yen in fiscal 2014, of which half is to come from solar cell operations.
Showa Shell manufactures solar cells at two plants in Miyazaki Prefecture, and its total production capacity is 80,000kw a year. It intends to pick a site for a new factory this fall. As one possible option, the firm is discussing purchasing a plasma panel plant in Miyazaki from Hitachi Ltd. (6501), then converting it to a solar cell facility.
Showa Shell's new factory, which is to have a production capacity of about 1 million kilowatts, is expected to start operations in 2011 or 2012.
"We aim to grab a 10% share of the global solar cell market, and we'll make this a core business along with oil," said President Jun Arai.

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