The additional furnace, with 38,000 metric tons of annual capacity, will serve the expanding electronics and thermoplastics industries. Construction of the new furnace is expected to begin later this year, with startup scheduled for the first quarter of 2006.
"This rapid plant expansion symbolizes our commitment to the fiber glass industry and being a global leader," said Victoria Holt, vice president of fiber glass for PPG. "The demand for fiber glass is quickly growing in Asia, and we are committed to meeting the needs of our customers."
Holt said the Kunshan plant can accommodate four furnaces, capable of collectively producing more than 120,000 metric tons. The plant opened in September 2003 with one 30,000-metric-ton fiber glass furnace.
"Asia is a crucial growth region for PPG," said Terry Fry, general manager of global electronics and leader for PPG's fiber glass business in the Asia/Pacific region. "Our continued investment in Kunshan is a key part of our strategy to expand our presence and leverage our capabilities to grow throughout the region. The new capacity also enhances our ability to serve global electronics and thermoplastics customers with a world-leading standard of excellence in products and services."
The PFG Fiber Glass (Kunshan) Co. Ltd. is a 50-50 joint venture of PPG and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. of Taiwan. PPG and Nan Ya have jointly manufactured fiber glass in Asia since 1991.
Nan Ya is a member of Formosa Plastics Group, which is the largest publicly owned industrial corporation in Taiwan. Nan Ya manufactures primary plastics, fiber and electronic materials, with sales of US$3.8 billion in 2003. Formosa Plastics Group's 2003 sales were US$26.0 billion.
PPG is one of the world's largest manufacturers of continuous-strand fiber glass, with eight manufacturing facilities worldwide, focused primarily on the global electronics, thermoplastics, general industrial and roofing segments. With 2003 sales of US$8.8 billion, Pittsburgh-based PPG is also a leading global supplier of coatings, glass and chemicals.