OSAKA (Kyodo) Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. doubled its production capacity for plasma display panel televisions Monday at its factory in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, to respond to surging global demand for flat-panel TVs, the company said.

With the Amagasaki plant beginning production on a full-fledged basis, its annual output capacity has reached 3.42 million units, about 2.3 times the previous capacity of 1.5 million units, it said.

The company has more than doubled the number of workers at the factory to about 850, compared with around 400 workers last September, when the factory began operating.

By increasing the production capacity at the Amagasaki plant, Matsushita’s total annual production capacity — including the Shanghai plant and the factory in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture — has stood at 5.52 million units, it said.

Investing a total of 180 billion yen, Matsushita is building the world’s largest plasma display panel factory next to the Amagasaki plant. It aims to begin operations at the new factory in July 2007.

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