Kyocera Shiga Yokaichi Plant (with 210 kW solar cells set on the building roof)
Kyocera Shiga Yokaichi Plant (with 210 kW solar cells set on the building roof)
[Click to enlarge image]

Kyocera Corp. has announced a plan to boost its solar cell production to 500 MW per year in FY2010. The 500 MW is about three times the current output of 180 MW. Toward the production enhancement, the company will reinforce production bases in Japan, the US, Europe and China, investing a total of about ¥30 billion through FY2010. Through this production enhancement, Kyocera looks to meet increasing demand across the world for solar cell.

The company will fortify five of its production bases: Shiga Yokaichi Plant that manufactures solar cell and four plants that manufacture cell-embedded module. Of the approximately ¥30 billion investment, about ¥20 billion will be spent to reinforce cell production, while the remaining about ¥10 billion will be used to fortify module production. Kyocera will increase production in phases at Shiga Yokaichi Plant, to which about ¥20 billion is allotted, by investing ¥5 billion every year. As for module plants, the company will invest about ¥1 billion in its Mie Ise Plant primarily targeting the Japanese market, ¥4 billion in respective Czech Plant targeting the European market and Mexico Plant targeting the North American market, and ¥1 billion in Kyocera (Tianjin) Solar Energy Co., Ltd. targeting the Chinese market.

In accordance with this investment, Kyocera's module output will increase from the current about 100 MW to 110 MW per year at Mie Ise Plant, from the 25 MW to 150 MW per year at respective Czech and Mexico Plants and from the 30 MW to 90 MW per year at Kyocera Solar Energy in FY2010. The company's module production will greatly expand at its overseas production bases.

Ahead of the formulation of this plan to enhance solar cell production, Kyocera concluded Si material supply agreements with material manufacturers inside and outside of Japan. The agreements are effective for four years or more. "This is the first time Kyocera ever concludes agreements valid for such a long period" for Si material supply, said the company's PR department. Kyocera only stated it signed agreements with "several manufacturers inside and outside of Japan" and is yet to disclose detailed information about them.

By region, the proportion of the European, US, Japanese and Asian including other region markets is 4:2:3:1 in the overall solar cell market, according to Kyocera. The company expects the proportion to alter to 4:2.5:2.5:1 in the near future with the Japanese market's share shrinking.