Sanyo eyes $2.13 billion for rechargeable batteries, solar cells

Sanyo Electric Co's Eneloop rechargeable batteries are pictured in Tokyo February 5, 2009. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sanyo Electric Co Ltd plans to invest around 200 billion yen ($2.13 billion) on rechargeable batteries and solar cells in the next three year to focus on the energy and environment businesses, the Nikkei said on Monday.

The investment is part of the company’s three-year business plan through fiscal 2012/13 ending March 31, 2013, to be released on May 11, the business daily said without citing sources.

Sanyo officials were not immediately available for comment.

Sanyo plans to invest around 290 billion yen over the three-year period, with 70 percent or about 200 billion yen accounting for rechargeable battery and solar cell operations, up from 190 billion yen forecast for the previous three-year plan to fiscal 2010/11, Nikkei said.

Sanyo plans to launch production of lithium ion batteries for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles by fiscal 2012/13, while aiming to boost production capacities for solar cells at domestic plants, eyeing to increase sales of home-use solar panels, the daily said.

By strengthening its environment and energy businesses, Sanyo aims to raise its group operating profit to 90 billion yen by fiscal 2012/13, the Nikkei said.

The newspaper said Sanyo, the world’s largest rechargeable battery maker, likely posted a 290 percent jump in operating profit to around 32 billion yen for fiscal 2009/10.

Reporting by Chikako Mogi; Editing by Valerie Lee