November 29, 2007 / 5:45 AM / in 11 years

UPDATE 1-Sharp to boost thin-film solar cell output

(Adds details, share price)

TOKYO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Japan’s Sharp Corp (6753.T) said on Thursday it would invest 22 billion yen ($200 million) to boost output capacity for thin-film solar cells more than tenfold by October 2008, amid a silicon shortage and rising demand for clean energy.

Thin-film solar cells use one-hundredth of the silicon needed in conventional solar cells, cutting production time and costs, Sharp said in a release.

The world’s No. 1 maker of solar cells said it planned to expand output capacity for thin-film cells to 160MW per year from the current 15MW at its Katsuragi Plant in Nara, western Japan.

Sharp has said previously that it also plans to ramp up its thin-film capacity with a new plant in Sakai in Osaka prefecture to go online by March 2010 and eventually target output of 1,000MW per year.

Shares in Sharp were up 3.3 percent at 1,828 yen at 0539 GMT, against a 2.8 percent rise in Tokyo’s electrical machinery subindex .IELEC.T. (Reporting by Yuko Inoue and Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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