Corning to Expand Japan Plant
CORNING, N.Y., Feb. 8, 2007 -- Corning Inc. announced today it will invest $160 million to expand its capacity to manufacture large-size glass substrates for active-matrix LCDs at its Shizuoka, Japan, facility.
The expenditure will be incurred over the next year and a half, it said, and glass substrate production is expected to begin by mid-2008. Capacity figures were undisclosed.
James P. Clappin, president of Corning Display Technologies, said in a statement, "We have built our leadership position by combining our technology expertise with a dedication to providing a reliable source of superior products. The increased capacity will create additional support for our customers in Japan and Taiwan, who are experiencing growing demand as LCD TV strengthens its hold on the 40-inch and larger market."
In 2006, Corning signed a long-term supply agreement making Corning the majority glass substrate supplier for Sharp Corp.'s Generation (Gen) 8 fab in Mie Prefecture that focuses on LCD TVs 40 inches and larger.
At 2160 x 2460 mm, Gen 8 is the largest glass substrate available, but next-generation substrates are on the horizon. "As we expand our Gen 8 capacity, Corning is beginning its development of Gen 9 and larger in order to prepare for customer demand of larger-size substrates," said Clappin.
The Gen 8 substrates manufactured at the Shizuoka facility are Corning's Eagle XG glass, which the company said it the first LCD substrate to contain no added heavy metals. "It is also free of halides, making it the most environmentally friendly LCD glass on the market," it said.
Corning previously said it expects the overall LCD glass substrate market to grow in the mid-30 percent range in 2007 and that LCD TV penetration is expected to reach 33 percent of the global TV market this year, up from 22 percent last year. It said it expects worldwide glass demand to grow by at least 400 million square feet in 2007, and that the industry's total demand for glass reached 1.2 billion square feet in 2006.
For more information, visit: www.corning.com