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August 14, 2007
Highly automated plant incorporating the most advanced technologies to be established
Singapore, 14 August, 2007 - Sony Corporation today announced plans to establish a lithium ion polymer battery plant in Singapore, Sony's first in South East Asia region. As an expansion of Sony's lithium ion battery manufacturing capabilities, the company will establish Singapore's first and only lithium ion polymer manufacturing plant, marking a major milestone for the local electronics industry. The plant is scheduled to start operations in August 2008.
The lithium ion polymer battery plant in Singapore will be highly automated, utilizing cutting-edge equipment and technologies such as the latest Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) applications. Local engineers will be sent to Japan for training to gain the technological knowledge and skills needed to run this highly advanced operation.
To be housed on Sony's existing facility in Tuas, the plant will have a built-up area of about 12,200 square metres. When the plant is fully operational in 2010, it will employ about 500 employees, with a monthly capacity of 8 million units of lithium ion polymer batteries. These batteries, which will be used in cellular phones, will be shipped to Sony customers worldwide. Sony will be investing S$150 million in its lithium ion polymer battery operations in Singapore.
"Sony has decided to place its latest investment in lithium-ion battery production in Singapore, to continue to leverage on the country's skilled engineering resources, excellent infrastructure, as well as its ideal location for shipment of products worldwide. We are also pleased to further enhance our partnership with the Singapore government which has given us tremendous support since we started manufacturing operations here in 1987. With this investment, we hope to continue to contribute positively to the development of Singapore's electronics industry via value-add manufacturing, technology transfer and the development of local engineers," said Mr Yutaka Nakagawa, Executive Deputy President, Officer in charge of Semiconductor & Component Group, Sony Corporation.
Mr Manohar Khiatani, Assistant Managing Director, Industry Development, Singapore Economic Development Board: "Sony is a global leader in battery technologies and developed the first commercial lithium ion battery in 1991. We are honoured that Sony has chosen Singapore for its first such plant in South East Asia. This is a clear demonstration of Sony's confidence in our overall competitiveness to host complex manufacturing projects."
With global demand for mobile products increasing, coupled with the higher performance and enhanced features of products such as cellular phones, digital cameras, camcorders, handheld game machines and portable audio players, demand for high capacity batteries has also risen sharply. The worldwide market size for lithium ion batteries (including lithium ion polymer batteries) is experiencing double-digit growth and is targeted to reach 2.4 billion cells* in 2007, of which more than 50% would being used in cellular phones. With Sony's latest investment in Singapore to manufacture lithium ion polymer batteries for cellular phones, the company will further expand its lithium ion battery business and be well positioned to meet the global market demand.