Japan's largest glassmaker plans to spend about 25 bln yen to add a new production line at its Takasago plant in Hyogo Prefecture, the business daily said. The output capacity of the Takasago plant will double to 8 mln square meters per year, making it the largest LCD glass substrate plant in Japan.
Construction is to begin next month, and the line is slated to begin operating in October 2006, when Sharp Corp's eighth-generation-panel plant begins operations.
Eighth-generation glass substrates will measure about 2.4 x 2.6 meters, allowing more or larger panels to be produced from them compared with seventh-generation substrates which measure about 1.9 x 2.3 meters, the Nikkei said.
Asahi Glass expects demand for LCD glass substrates to grow about 30 pct a year.
The leader in glass substrates is US-based Corning Inc, which controls about half of the market. Asahi Glass is the second-largest supplier with about a 30 pct share.