Corning Inc. has announced that Oklahoma City, Okla., will be the location of its newest optical fiber manufacturing facility. Preliminary engineering plans for the new site are intended to begin in the first half of 2001, with implementation pending full funding approval from the company’s board of directors. To be located on the western side of Oklahoma City in Canadian County, the new facility’s initial production is anticipated in 2004. When fully operational, the plant is expected to employ several hundred people. "The addition of the new facility, coupled with the multiple fiber plant expansions that we announced earlier this year, will allow us to grow our fiber manufacturing capacity at a rate that is paced by the industry’s strong market demand," said Alan Eusden, senior vice president and general manager of the optical fiber division at Corning. This announcement follows a series of Corning optical fiber expansions during 2000 impacting manufacturing facilities in Concord and Wilmington, North Carolina; Deeside, North Wales; and Victoria, Australia. Most recently, Corning announced a plan to invest $450 million in capital expenditures to further expand its Concord, North Carolina optical fiber manufacturing facility and to support initial planning for this new facility.