May 10 (Renewables Now) - Japan’s Panasonic Corp (TYO:6752) will transfer its heterojunction (HIT) solar cell and module production unit in Malaysia to GS-Solar as part of a wider cooperation agreement with the China-based heterojunction solar products maker.
In a press release on Thursday, Panasonic said it will transfer the ownership of Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd to GS-Solar and set up a new joint venture (JV) with its Chinese partner to hold its solar research and development (R&D) unit. The new entity will be 90%-controlled by solar manufacturer GS-Solar, while Panasonic will hold the remaining 10%. To be based in Japan, the JV will focus on R&D of heterojunction solar cells and modules.
The Japanese firm explained the move will help it enhance the development and production capability of its photovoltaic (PV) business, expecting the partnership to “allow the introduction of high added-value PV modules to a market, which is expected to grow on a global scale.”
Following the transfer, Panasonic will integrate its solar business into its energy solutions business. The agreement with GS-Solar will not affect its other solar manufacturing activities, apart from the heterojunction ones. The electronics major also has solar production facilities in Japan and the US.