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Showa Shell Begins Production at $1.2 Billion Japan Solar Plant

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Solar Frontier, a unit of Japanese refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., said it began production at a 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) solar module factory.

The factory, which Solar Frontier said is the world’s biggest, has the capacity to produce 900 megawatts of thin-film solar modules a year, the company said in a statement dated yesterday.

Thin-film modules, used to turn sunlight into power, require less material to produce than traditional modules.

The factory in Miyazaki prefecture, southern Japan is expected to reach full production this summer, the statement said. Tokyo-based Showa Shell shares fell 1.8 percent to 698 yen at the 11 a.m. break on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company is Japan’s fourth-largest refiner by capacity.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Biggs in Tokyo at sbiggs3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.

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