July 5 Japan's Panasonic Corp plans to
shut down its sole European solar cell plant next March and
dismiss about 500 workers at the factory, the Nikkei reported.
The Hungarian factory will end production in September,
leaving the company with one solar cell plant each in Japan's
Osaka and Shiga prefectures and another in Malaysia, the
business newspaper said.
Equipment from the Hungarian facility will be transported to
the other plants, the daily said.
The European solar energy market is dominated by Chinese
suppliers such as Yingli Green Energy. The market has
been shrinking due to duties imposed by the European Union on
imports of Chinese solar panels.
A growing Japanese market along with a weak yen prompted
Panasonic to shift production to Japan from Europe, the Nikkei
The company aims to sell some 675,000 kw of solar cells
worldwide in the year ending March, up 25 percent from a year
earlier, the Japanese daily said.