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Panasonic to End Solar Wafer Production at Oregon Factory

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Panasonic Corp., a Japanese electronics maker which began developing solar panels in 1975, will end solar wafer production at a plant in Oregon.

The Osaka-based company plans to stop making wafers at the end of June, a spokeswoman Chieko Gyobu said today by phone in Tokyo. The Nikkei newspaper reported the plan earlier also saying that the company wants to consolidate production at its plant in Malaysia.

The decision will affect about a quarter of the workers at the Oregon factory that also makes silicon ingots for solar panels, the spokeswoman said, declining to say how many people it employs at the plant.

Panasonic closed a solar wafer factory in California last year, the spokeswoman said. The Oregon factory will continue producing silicon ingots, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

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

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