Konica, the world's second-largest maker of hard drive glass substrates after Hoya Corp, expects strong growth due to the proliferation of consumer electronics equipped with hard drives such as portable music players and notebook PCs.
"The hard drive market is growing about 20 per cent annually and we can expect that for materials used in them to grow at a similar rate," said Konica Minolta spokesman Katsuyuki Sakai, confirming an earlier report on the plant in the Nikkei newspaper.
Shares in Konica Minolta failed to get a lift from the news, and were down 1.7 per cent at 1,589 yen by early afternoon. The benchmark Nikkei average was down 0.93 per cent.
Konica Minolta will begin construction of the factory in March and aims to start operations in January 2008. It will be Konica Minolta's first overseas plant for hard drive glass. The company already has two factories in Japan.
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