22 July 2004 06:19 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Corning Inc of the US will further expand its liquid crystal display (LCD) glass substrates manufacturing capacity after receiving approval from its board for a $750m (Euro611.5m) capital expenditure plan.
The bulk of the spending would be directed at the building of a new LCD facility in Taichung, Taiwan. Plans for the Taichung facility were announced in April even though at that time the board had only approved the preliminary funding.
This first phase of the Taichung facility, to be built at the Central Taiwan Science Park, will add glass melting and finishing capacity capable of producing Generation 5.5 and Generation 6 glass substrates.
Corning expects to begin initial manufacturing in Taichung during the third quarter of 2005, with additional capacity continuing to come online through 2006.
The second phase would double the facility's large-generation production and preliminary funding for the expansion of the company's Shizuoka, Japan LCD glass facility. Construction of the second phase is to begin in 2005.
Corning is a global maker of specialty glass, ceramic materials and polymers for the telecommunications, flat panel display (FPD), environmental, semiconductor, and life sciences industries.
Strong demand growth for LCD monitors and devices has been a large contributor to rising demand for methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polycarbonate (PC) resin in Asia, both of which are used to make diffusers for backlight units for large-sized LCDs.?xml:namespace>
Corning believes annual market volume growth for LCD glass could range between 30%-50% over the next several years, with 2004 volume growth likely to be at the high end of this range.
"Total worldwide flat panel glass demand could triple over the next four years if LCD monitor penetration continues and LCD television emerges as we expect," said Wendell P. Weeks, Corning's president and chief operating officer.
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