Japan’s Sanyo Electric, majority owned by Panasonic, has announced plans to invest 170 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in capital spending for its rechargeable battery and solar cell operations for the next three years. The company, which is the world’s number one rechargeable battery maker, wants to speed up the development of new technology to lower the cost of making rechargeable batteries and boost production focus to meet fast-growing demand for renewable energy sources.
Sanyo is aiming to achieve a 21% conversion efficiency for its HIT solar cells at mass-production level by March 2011. The company also plans to strengthen the cost competitiveness by production innovation and expand sales in the residential market in Japan and Europe.
The 170 billion yen accounts for approximately 60% of its total capital expenditure of 290 billion yen allocated for the three years to March 2013. 50 billion yen will be set aside for the solar cell sector and 120 billion yen for rechargeable batteries.
“We are striving to be a leader in the Panasonic group’s energy and environment-related businesses,” said Sanyo president Seiichiro Sano. The company plans to start solar cell production at Panasonic’s panel plant by early 2013.
Sanyo aims to triple operating profit to 90 billion yen by March 2013, from 32.3 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. The company also plans to boost its revenue by 21% to two trillion yen in the period, while its operating margin could increase to 4.5% from 1.9%.