KYOCERA Establishes Global Infrastructure to Double Production Capacity for Solar Electric Modules
Company aims to become world's largest "fully-integrated" producer
KYOTO, JAPAN -- September 22, 2004 -- Kyocera Corporation (President: Yasuo Nishiguchi) today announced that it is expanding its manufacturing infrastructure for solar photovoltaic (PV) modules by adding new production operations in North America, Europe and Japan, in a plan to double its PV manufacturing output within the next year.
The expansion, which marks Kyocera’s 30th anniversary in the solar energy field, comes in response to strong global demand for solar electric generating systems. Combined with the company’s established plants in Japan and China, the new operations will give Kyocera significant local production capabilities in the world’s top four solar PV markets.
The first of the new production centers will open in Tijuana, Mexico on October 1, 2004, supplying PV modules throughout the Americas. A second facility planned to open in Kadan, Czech Republic, will supply PV modules to Germany and other EU countries beginning in April 2005.
At the same time, Kyocera will add a new production facility to its Yohkaichi plant in Japan’s Shiga prefecture to double its output of solar cells, the basic building blocks of solar PV modules. In so doing, Kyocera will create a framework for manufacturing up to 20 megawatts of solar modules per month, or up to 240 megawatts per year, by August 2005.
To achieve this goal, the company will take advantage of its fully integrated production system, which involves every step of the PV manufacturing process -- from casting silicon materials and producing individual solar cells, to assembling finished PV modules and integrating them into solar electric generating systems. By strengthening its production framework as described above, Kyocera will aim to become world’s largest “fully-integrated” producer of PV modules.
PROFILES OF THE NEW PLANTS
Kyocera Solar, Inc. / Mexico Plant.
Will assemble PV modules for the Americas, with particular focus on the California market.
Kyocera Solar, Inc. (http://www.kyocerasolar.com), subcontracting to Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V.; both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Kyocera International, Inc., the North American headquarters and holding company for Kyocera Corporation.
COMMENCEMENT OF PRODUCTION:
October 1, 2004.
One megawatt per month initially, rising to three megawatts per month by the end of 2005.
200 million yen (approximately $1.8 million)
Solar PV assembly will be performed in a building operated by Kyocera Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., a separate Kyocera company.
2. CZECH PLANT
Kyocera Solar Europe s.r.o. / Czech Plant.
Will assemble PV modules for the EU market in response to rising demand, especially in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Spain.
Kyocera Solar Europe s.r.o. will be established jointly as a subsidiary of Kyocera Fineceramics GmbH, a sales company in Europe, and Kyocera Corporation.
TO BE ESTABLISHED:
October 1, 2004.
COMMENCEMENT OF PRODUCTION:
April 1, 2005.
One megawatt per month, rising to between four and five megawatts per month by the end of 2005.
700 million yen (approximately $6.4 million).
A new, single-story building to be constructed.
3. NEW PLANT IN YOHKAICHI, SHIGA, JAPAN
Kyocera Shiga Yohkaichi Plant (Second Facility).
Will manufacture solar cells to be assembled into modules at the company’s four global production bases (Ise, Japan; Tianjin, China; Tijuana, Mexico; and Kadan, Czech Republic).
TO COMMENCE PRODUCTION:
August 1, 2005.
Ten megawatts per month (creating, in combination with the existing plant, a total capacity of 20 megawatts per month).
9.1 billion yen (approximately $83.5 million).
A new building to be constructed next to the existing plant.
MAKING A GREATER CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD
From 1975, when it entered the solar energy business, to the end of 2003, Kyocera shipped about 350 megawatts of solar energy systems. These systems are designed to convert sunlight into electrical energy continuously, to support homes, businesses and public facilities all over the world.
Kyocera’s PV systems contribute significantly to environmental preservation. For example, 350 megawatts of PV modules can generate the energy equivalent of approximately 23 million gallons of petroleum each year -- avoiding the generation of about 65,000 t-C/year of greenhouse gases. This environmental benefit would be equivalent to planting trees over a land area of about 62 square miles. By August 2005, Kyocera’s expanded PV manufacturing infrastructure is planned to be producing enough PV modules to generate this level of environmental benefits every 18 months. Kyocera is expanding its solar energy business to make a greater contribution to the environment, energy and the quality of human life on a global scale.
Kyocera Corporation (NYSE: KYO; global.kyocera.com), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of telecommunications equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, solar energy systems, laser printers, copiers, cameras and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2004, Kyocera Corporation's consolidated net sales totaled approximately US$11 billion (1.14 trillion yen).