Panasonic 'drops plans' for ex-TV plant's switchover to PV

Panasonic is dropping plans to convert a TV component plant in Japan into a PV module factory due to tough market conditions, according to local reports.

The Japanese electronics giant had planned to shift its Amagasaki plant in Hyogo prefecture to PV module production after moving the current plasma TV panel-making equipment to a factory in Shanghai.

But it will now simply stop TV production and not make the switch, says Japan's Nikkei newspaper, citing sources close to the company.

Panasonic’s decision follows plunging PV equipment prices and the effects of a strong yen on exports, it suggests.

A company spokeswoman says Panasonic has made no announcement over the plans for Amagasaki.

“If we do have any new announcements about our business development, we will make them on 31 October at our second-quarter financial results,” she says.

Panasonic said in April it would lay-off about 17,000 people in the next two years in a bid to cut costs and get rid of overlapping businesses after buying out rival Sanyo.

At the same time, the company reaffirmed its plan to become one of the world’s three largest PV manufacturers by 2015, despite swallowing a ¥40.7bn ($499m) quarterly loss.