The company, which commands more than 50 percent of the Japanese market, plans to invest NT$400 million (US$13.2 million) in a new 3.29 hectare subsidiary at the Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) in Huwei Township (虎尾), Yunlin County, the park administration and Ohara senior managing director Hitoshi Sekido said.
One-third of Ohara’s glass-melting production will be moved to the new factory after operations begin in 2013, Sekido said.
The plant’s output will be sold both in Taiwan, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s digital camera market, and abroad, he said.
Investment in Taiwan has become an option, especially after the damage caused by the March 11 earthquake in Japan and the flooding in Thailand, which resulted in substantial losses for Japanese manufacturers, Sekido said.
A rising yen and Taiwan’s easier access to rare earth elements from the world’s largest exporter, China, were also reasons behind the company’s decision to build a second subsidiary after the one in Greater Taichung, the official said.
The new subsidiary is expected to greatly benefit local industries in the precision optical machinery sector and to help lower their production costs, park administration director-general Yang Wen-ke (楊文科) said.