Corning and Asahi Glass consider building new furnaces in central Taiwan

In view of potential business with AU Optronics (AUO), both US-based Corning and Japan-based Asahi Glass have shown interest in building TFT LCD glass furnaces near AUO’s new factories in the Central Taiwan Science-based Industrial Park (CTSIP), sources said.

According to sources, the two foreign companies have contacted Taiwan’s National Science Council (NSC), which currently oversees developments of CTSIP, about setting up new furnaces.Decisions could be made in mid-September at the earliest, sources added.

Both Corning and Asahi Glass’s Taiwanese subsidiary Asahi Glass Fine Techno played down the news, saying they were in no hurry to build new factories in central Taiwan. AUO is set to build four TFT LCD plants in the CTSIP, but the operations will not begin until 2005, the companies said.

According to Corning, the company expects to expand capacity at its furnace in the Southern Taiwan Science-based Industrial Park (STSIP), which should be able to meet demand from CTSIP. Earlier, Nitin S Kulkarni, president of Corning Display Technologies, said Corning had started planning for its second furnace in Taiwan, but declined to give details.

Asahi Glass Fine Techno said that it had not been informed by its headquarters about any new furnace in central Taiwan. The company’s new furnace in Yunlin, Taiwan, is set to start production in September of 2004, and should cope with initial demand from AUO, it said.

600450 Corning and Asahi Glass consider building new furnaces in central Taiwan
Date: 9 September 2003

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