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Reuters: Showa Shell to invest $127 mln in solar cell output

Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:23AM BST
 
TOKYO, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (5002.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Japan’s fifth-biggest oil refiner, said on Wednesday it would invest about 15 billion yen ($127 million) to quadruple output of solar batteries that do not use costly silicon.

The company will build a second solar cell plant in Miyazaki Prefecture, western Japan, with annual capacity of 60 megawatts, with operations scheduled to start in the first half of 2009. Solar power companies have been boosting output globally to meet strong demand for renewable energy.

Showa Shell, about one-third owned by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) group, started operations of the first solar cell plant in July with capacity of 20 megawatts.

The company markets the thin film solar panels made up of copper, indium and selenium. Honda Motor Co. (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research) is set to start production of similar solar panels later this year.

Showa Shell said that inquiries from Europe have been particularly strong and added it would also sell domestically.

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