This investment is in addition to a $70 million expansion announced in February 2005.
This incremental investment in Corning's diesel manufacturing facility will provide more firing and finishing capability to meet anticipated market demand for its recently introduced Corning DuraTrap(R) AT filter, for diesel passenger car use, as well as demand for Corning substrates and filters for medium and heavy-duty diesel engine applications. These manufacturing enhancements are expected to be fully operational in late 2006.
"Strong market interest in our new Corning DuraTrap(R) AT filter - along with broader application of our diesel substrates and filters for model-year 2007 and beyond medium and heavy-duty diesel engines -- has prompted this newest investment," said Thomas R. Hinman, vice president and general manager, Corning Diesel Technologies. "Today's announcement is consistent with our often-stated goal of meeting growing customer demand for Corning diesel products with incremental additions to manufacturing capability."
The earlier expansion, announced in February 2005, is currently underway and focuses on cutting, firing and finishing capability for the production of Corning substrates and filters for medium and heavy-duty clean diesel applications. These manufacturing enhancements are also expected to be fully operational in late 2006.
New U.S. clean-air standards for on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles are set to take effect in 2007. Corning is working closely with major diesel engine and vehicle manufacturers to incorporate the company's diesel filters and substrates into emissions aftertreatment systems to be used on medium and heavy-duty vehicles that meet these low-emissions standards.
In Europe, demand for cleaner diesel passenger cars is being driven by both consumer demand and various government tax incentives. This year, approximately half of all new cars sold in Europe are expected to be powered by diesel engines. Corning expects that the Corning DuraTrap(R) AT filter will be used on selected diesel cars sold in Europe beginning later this year.
Hinman noted that the global diesel products market is expected to be approximately $250 million in 2005 and it could grow into a $1 billion market opportunity by 2008 as new U.S. and European clean-air standards take effect.
Original plans for the Corning Diesel Manufacturing Facility were announced in October 2001 and the facility began production in 2004. It manufactures cellular ceramic substrates and particulate filters used in diesel engine exhaust treatment systems. Used either individually or in combination - and oftentimes catalyzed - these products help reduce particulate matter (soot) and nitrogen oxide emissions.
Corning is a leading supplier of advanced catalytic converter substrates and particulate filters to all of the world's major manufacturers of gasoline and diesel engines and vehicles. The company invented an economical, high-performance cellular ceramic substrate in the early 1970s that is now the standard for catalytic converters worldwide. In 1978, Corning developed the cellular ceramic particulate filter to remove soot from diesel emissions.