Panasonic to Build Lithium-Ion Battery Plant in China

April 24, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

According to media reports, Panasonic Corp. plans to build a new lithium-ion battery plant in China by April 2012 with an eye to accelerating a production shift to the country.

The plant will be constructed at a site adjacent to Sanyo Electric Co.’s existing factory in the eastern China province of Jiangsu. Sanyo became a wholly owned unit of Panasonic on April 1.

Panasonic will also add facilities at Sanyo Electric Co.’s existing plant in Beijing.

Production of lithium-ion batteries at Sanyo’s Japanese plant in Hyogo Prefecture, in western Japan, will move to the new Chinese facilities. The Sanyo factory recently stopped production of the batteries but won’t close, since it produces other items as well.

Panasonic plans to raise the ratio of Chinese output of its lithium-ion batteries used in such products as PCs and cellphones to 50% by the year starting April 2015. It currently makes 80-90% of such lithium-ion batteries in Japan.