FT: Japan's Asahi Glass finishes Yunlin plant

The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) announced Wednesday morning that Japan's Asahi Glass, the world's largest TFT LCD glass substrate manufacturer, has completed construction of a new glass substrate plant in Taiwan's Yunlin Industrial Park.

Plans for the plant began after talks between Asahi and the Office of the Committee for Information Industry Development (OCIID), under the IDB, in 1997. The deal comes amid the OCIID's more than 5-year pilgrimage to bring upstream cutting-edge technology manufacturing to the island.

The US$285 million plant is expected to begin production of TFT LCD glass substrates and ITO glass in Q4 of this year, gradually ramping up capacity to an annual 2.3 million square meters of glass by 2005, according to Asahi officials.

"The facility will eventually employee some 400 skilled workers including chemical and electrical engineers, boosting high tech employment in southern Taiwan," said Shih Yen-Shiang, Director General, IDB.

The IDB, under the authority of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), sees the development as a strong indication of progress in the agency's drive to upgrade the industrial sector in Taiwan, particularly in less developed areas.

"This new project follows our strategy of ramping up development outside the Taipei-Hsinchu corridor," said Shih.

It also furthers Taiwan's aim to become an international contributor in cutting-edge technology as much of its lower-end tech manufacturing moves to the mainland.

"This investment project indicates the evolution of strong collaboration between Taiwan and Japan from OEM to technology cooperation and R&D strengthening the local technology supply chain from upstream to downstream," said Shih.

TFT LCDs are a high-growth area, and a key target industry for the IDB. Asahi forecasts that TFT LCD displays will gradually gain ground over CRT displays, growing at an average rate of 30 percent over the next 5 years. By 2004, Asahi hopes to claim some 90 percent of the TFT LCD glass market, which is expected to account for 25 percent of the total global display market.....more info available on the source link bellow

600450 FT: Japan's Asahi Glass finishes Yunlin plant glassonweb.com

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