Corning Expands Generation 8 Capacity in Japan

Corning Incorporated announced that its board of directors has approved a capital expenditure plan of $160 million to further expand its capacity to manufacture large size glass substrates for active matrix liquid crystal displays (LCD) at its facility in Shizuoka, Japan.

The expenditure will be incurred over the next year and a half, with glass substrate production expected to begin by mid-2008. Capacity figures were undisclosed.

"We have built our leadership position by combining our technology expertise with a dedication to providing a reliable source of superior products," said James P. Clappin, president of Corning Display Technologies. "The increased capacity will create additional support for our customers in Japan and Taiwan, who are experiencing growing demand as LCD TV strengthens its hold on the 40-inch and larger market."

In 2006, Corning signed a long-term supply agreement with Sharp Corporation making Corning the majority glass substrate supplier for Sharp's Generation (Gen) 8 fab in Mie Prefecture, which focuses on LCD TVs that are 40 inches and larger.

At 2160 x 2460 mm, Gen 8 is currently the largest glass substrate available, but next-generation substrates are already on the horizon. "As we expand our Gen 8 capacity, Corning is beginning its development of Gen 9 and larger in order to prepare for customer demand of larger-size substrates," said Clappin.

The Gen 8 substrates manufactured at the Shizuoka facility are Corning's EAGLE XG™ glass. EAGLE XG is the first LCD substrate to contain no added heavy metals. It is also free of halides, making it the most environmentally friendly LCD glass on the market.

Corning previously said that it expects the overall LCD glass substrate market to grow in the mid-30 percent range in 2007. The company also said that LCD TV penetration is expected to reach 33 percent of the global television market this year, up from 22 percent last year. The company has also said that it expects worldwide glass demand to grow by at least 400 million square feet in 2007. The industry's total demand for glass reached 1.2 billion square feet in 2006.

600450 Corning Expands Generation 8 Capacity in Japan glassonweb.com

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