Showa Shell Unit to Halt Solar Panel Making at 60-Megawatt Plant

Solar Frontier K.K., a unit of Japan’s Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (5002), will suspend production at a facility that has the capacity to make 60 megawatts of solar panels annually to focus on a larger plant.

Production at the MP2 plant in Miyazaki prefecture in southwestern Japan will stop at the end of this year. The facility may be used to make “specialized solar products currently in development,” according to an e-mailed statement from Solar Frontier today.

The larger Kunitomi plant, which began production in February 2011, may produce solar products with a capacity of 600 megawatts this year, Akane Yamiya, a Solar Frontier spokeswoman, said by phone today.

Most of the MP2 plant’s 200-strong workforce will be transferred to the Kunitomi factory or domestic sales, Yamiya said.

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