Tokyo: Japan’s Sanyo Electric plans ¥170 billion ($1.8 billion) in capital spending for its rechargeable battery and solar cell operations for the next three years, in a bid to meet fast-growing demand for green energy sources.
Sanyo, the world’s No.1 rechargeable battery maker and 13th largest in solar cells, said on Tuesday the amount accounts for about 60% of its total capital expenditure of ¥290 billion earmarked for the three years to March 2013.
Of the ¥170 billion , Sanyo, majority owned by Panasonic Corp, will set aside ¥50 billion for solar cells and ¥120 billion for rechargeable batteries.
“We are striving to be a leader in the Panasonic group’s energy and environment-related businesses,” Sanyo president Seiichiro Sano told a news conference.
Sanyo’s spending plan, however, is dwarfed by the investment strategy by Samsung Electronics, which said earlier on Tuesday it would invest $20.6 billion by 2020 in new businesses including health care and green energy technology.
Sanyo plans to start solar cell production at Panasonic’s panel plant by early 2013, Sano said.
His comment comes after Panasonic president Fumio Ohtsubo said last week the parent company may convert one of its plasma panel plants into a solar cell factory.
Panasonic is the world’s largest plasma TV maker.
Following the announcement, shares in Sanyo closed down 0.7% at ¥142, outperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index, which fell 1.7 %.