Panasonic teams up with China's GS-Solar in photovoltaic production

14, May. 2019

TOKYO, NNA - Panasonic Corp. will work with Chinese photovoltaic module manufacturer GS-Solar (China) Co. to boost its solar panel business.

The Japanese electronics firm will transfer its solar manufacturing subsidiary Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. to GS-Solar, based in Quanzhou in Fujian Province, it said in a recent statement.

Panasonic will also set up a joint venture with GS-Solar in Japan by spinning off its photovoltaic research and development unit.

“GS-Solar has achieved a high level of technological results and synergy is expected,” Panasonic spokesman Joe Flynn said.

The partnership will allow Panasonic to “optimize the development and production capability of its photovoltaic business while continuing to procure and sell photovoltaic modules produced at the Malaysian factory,” the company said.

Panasonic operates solar manufacturing facilities in Japan and the United States, which it said will be unaffected by the transfer of its Malaysian unit due to be completed in November.

“Panasonic and the new company will provide technical support for its factories in Japan and the U.S.,” Flynn said.

The new R&D venture will be owned 90 percent by GS-Solar and 10 percent by Panasonic, according to the statement. It is scheduled to be located in Osaka Prefecture, but details -- its name, establishment date and investment amount -- have yet to be decided.

Panasonic saw its group operating profit rise 8.1 percent year-on-year to 411.5 billion yen ($3.7 billion) in the year to March, on sales of 8 trillion yen. Its eco solutions division posted 64.6 billion yen in operating profit, down 20 percent, on sales of 2 trillion yen, up 4 percent. (NNA/Kyodo)