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Sony to expand battery production

The move addresses growing global demand for lithium-ion cells.

August 05, 2008|From the Associated Press

Sony Corp. will invest about $372 million to boost its output capacity of lithium-ion batteries amid growing global demand, the company said Monday.

The move highlights the intensifying push by several firms for dominance in the booming market for the rechargeable power sources commonly used in mobile phones, laptop PCs and digital cameras.

On top of plans to increase production in Singapore and China, the Japanese consumer electronics company said it would build new facilities and enhance existing lines in Japan. Sony said it hoped to expand output capacity to 74 million cells a month in 2010 from the current monthly pace of 41 million cells.

"This is the first phase of investment in lithium-ion batteries Sony is undertaking as part of efforts to reinforce core areas of its component and semiconductor business over the next three years," the company said in a statement.

Rival Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., the Japanese maker of Panasonic products, last week announced plans to build a $930-million lithium-ion battery plant in western Japan.

Demand is expected to continue to expand in established markets such as the U.S., Europe and Japan, and in new markets, including China and Brazil, Matsushita said.

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