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Sony to restart battery plant; six others still out

Sony is restarting one of its closed factories, but six locations are still closed. Those closed plants produce everything from circuit cards to Blu-ray discs.

Sony plans to restart a lithium-ion battery plant that it closed following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier this month, Reuters is reporting.

According to the report, Sony will open its plant, which is located in the Tochigi prefecture, tomorrow. However, six other plants that Sony closed after the earthquake and tsunami will remain closed for the time being.

This could be bad news for several markets in which Sony competes. The factories that remain closed are used to produce lasers for Blu-ray players, Blu-ray discs, and Blu-ray players, among other products.

Japan was hit by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake earlier this month that spawned a devastating tsunami in the northern part of the country. After the tsunami hit, thousands lost their lives and millions were left without food or water. The cost to rebuild the affected areas could reach into the billions of dollars.

Sony isn't the only technology company that has seen its productivity slip since the quake. Following the earthquake, reports claimed that Sanyo, Sharp, Mitsubishi, and Panasonic were among the companies that were forced to shut down manufacturing. In an attempt to help the Tokyo Electric Power Co. maintain power as long as possible, game developer Square-Enix said last week that it would shut down game services for Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XI, and PlayOnline for at least a week.

According to Reuters, Toshiba has also been negatively affected by the earthquake. The company is currently working to bring its production of large-scale integration chips back up, but it's unsure when it will be successful. Toshiba also reportedly told Reuters that its liquid crystal display plant, which produces panels for smartphones and other mobile devices, will be down through mid-April.