Central Glass, 3M to invest in local LCD plants

3M Co. of the U.S. and Japan's Central Glass Co. plan to invest a combined NT$500 million to build plants in Taiwan to supply the island's liquid crystal display makers, according to the Industrial Development Bureau. 3M, which makes Post-it Notes, plans this year to expand a plant to add a line to make prism sheets, a component for the displays, the agency said.

Central Glass will build a plant to produce NF3, a gas used in making semiconductors and displays, pending approval from the company's board, the agency said.

Taiwan, home to AU Optronics Corp. and other makers of displays used in computers and televisions, is forecast to overtake South Korea this year as the world's largest supplier, researcher DisplaySearch reported in February. Taiwan-based manufacturers will account for 49 percent of the US$9.4 billion in global spending on display-making equipment this year, DisplaySearch Taiwan President C.E. Wang said.

Taiwan aims to attract NT$3 billion in investments from abroad this year for its electronics material industries by offering five-year tax breaks, the Industrial Development Bureau said. The government has a target to attract NT$3.5 billion next year and NT$4 billion in 2006, it said.

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