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Panasonic to Expand Lithium Ion Battery Production in Japan


Osaka, Japan - Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd. (MBI) today announced that the company will set up a new lithium-ion battery production facility at its factory in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. The new facility will boost the companyís domestic production capacity to meet a growing demand for lithium-ion batteries. MBI is a subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. which is best known for its Panasonic brand products.

Up until now, the Wakayama factory has been a battery component production base. With the construction of the new facility, it will become a production center with an integrated production system from material processing through to assembly, inspection and shipments. This will give MBI two integrated production bases for cylindrical and prismatic-type batteries in Japan, including its factory in Osaka.

Construction of the new facility in Wakayama is scheduled to commence in December 2007 and be completed by May 2008. As a result, MBIís total lithium-ion battery production capacity from factories in Osaka and Wakayama in Japan and Wuxi in China will increase approximately 50 percent from the current 25 million units per month to 37 million units per month in the business year ending March 2010.

A fire at its Osaka factory on September 30, 2007 caused inconvenience to its customers and MBI is making every effort to fully restore production at the earliest possible time. Production at the Osaka factory partly resumed on November 1, 2007. MBI is conducting a comprehensive review to improve fire prevention measures in the production process. These improved measures will be incorporated into the new facility at the Wakayama factory.

New lithium-ion battery production facility in Wakayama
Groundbreaking: December 2007
Completion: May 2008
Investment: Approx. 4.5 billion yen (including building and power supply facility, excluding manufacturing facility)

Wakayama Factory
Location: Kinokawa City, Wakayama Prefecture
Completion: October 1990
Products: Battery components and cylindrical-type lithium ion batteries.


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